ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - For the first time, Minnesota is now publishing COVID-19 vaccination data regarding race and ethnicity.
Minnesota is 81.6% white, however, whites make up 90.7% of the state's vaccinated population. Health officials have been expecting this because Minnesota has concentrated so many of its shots in the age 65+ group, which is overwhelmingly (94.2%) white.
"While it wasn't surprising, it did confirm where we have gaps," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
Whites are the only race that make up a larger percentage of those vaccinated than their percentage of the state's population.
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Governor Tim Walz announced the data is the result of a partnership with Minnesota Electronic Health Record (EHR) Consortium, becoming the first statewide collaboration of its kind in the country. He says the data will help the state create targeted strategies for equitable access of the vaccine.
At a press briefing Friday, Gov. Walz says he directed county health officials and health providers that they can vaccinate younger more diverse population if they have too many doses.
"We’re not giving up equity and we’re not giving up fairness in this, but this stress on speed, this is a race against the clock, is how I view it," said Walz.
Malcolm said equity efforts will expand as vaccine supply increases, which include:
- More doses to clinics/pharmacies in communities of need
- Connect members of focus communities with vaccine opportunities
- Deploy mobile vaccine sites
The data reported on the site is incomplete as the consortium looks to add more clinics to the data pool. The current data contributors include Allina Health, CentraCare, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Essentia Health, M Health Fairview, University of Minnesota, HealthPartners, Hennepin Healthcare, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System, and North Memorial Health.
Also, not every patient supplied ethnicity data.
The race and ethnicity data will be updated weekly.
58% of Minnesota 65+ have received 1 dose
975,781 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to date, or 17% of the population. 9% of the population has now completed the vaccine series. 58% of people ages 65 and older have received one dose.
Heath officials say Minnesota will get 127,160 first doses next week, all from Pfizer and Moderna. That is a 20% drop in total allocation from this week's 161,010 because states aren't getting any Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Just looking at Pfizer and Moderna comparisions, allocation is going up 10% next week.
Malcolm told the Senate Aging committee Wednesday she is "highly confident" that Minnesota will vaccinate 70% of seniors before the end of the month, allowing a quicker expansion of eligibility. Walz says Minnesota will "significantly beat" his original vaccine timeline.
Friday, the state of Minnesota reported 813 new COVID-19 cases and 13 new deaths.