Data: Unvaccinated Minnesotans age 65 and older were 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19

New data from the Minnesota Department of Health, which analyzes COVID-19 hospitalization and deaths between May 2 and September 12, shows that Minnesotans over the age of 65 who were not fully vaccinated were nearly 21 times more likely to die compared to fully vaccinated populations in the same age group.

The data shows 21.4 per 100,000 unvaccinated Minnesotans ages 65 and older died during that time period compared to just 1.04 who had been vaccinated. For ages 50 to 64, the rate for unvaccinated individuals was 1.40 deaths per 100,000 compared to just .10 for vaccinated Minnesotans in that age group.

For hospitalizations, 101.3 unvaccinated Minnesota ages 65 and older had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19, compared to 6.5 for the vaccinated group. For ages 50-64, the rate of hospitalizations for unvaccinated Minnesotans was 18.1 per 100,000 compared to 1.6 for vaccinated.

Minnesota health leaders said Wednesday the new data show the COVID-19 vaccine is effective.

"[The new data] really does just show that the key point, that the current wave of COVID infections is concentrated among people who are not fully vaccinated," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

On Wednesday, Minnesota reported 1,858 new COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths, as the state continues to fight through a surge in cases.