After vaccination, only 0.001 percent of Minnesotans got COVID-19, April data shows

As vaccination rates in Minnesota continue to creep closer to the all-important 70 percent mark, early figures are proving what medical professionals have been saying all along: the vaccines work. 

Nationally, the nation’s death rate reached its lowest level in 10 months and less than 2 percent of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota this year have been among fully vaccinated individuals. 

Medical professionals say this is proof that the vaccine not only works, but it is highly effective. 

With more than 60 percent of Minnesotans now at least half-vaccinated, the data is starting to come in and its proving what the trials predicted. 

As of last month, when 1.9 million Minnesotans were fully vaccinated, only around 1,900 of them got COVID-19 after the fact. That’s 0.001 percent. 

Of the 1,400 COVID-19 deaths so far this year, only 21 were among fully vaccinated people -- which means those who received the shot accounted for less than 2 percent of deaths. None of the deaths were under the age of 50.

"The people I’ve cared for who have been sick or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 after having vaccine have had very easy courses, minimal symptoms if any," said Dr. Hannah Lichtsinn, of Hennepin Healthcare.

Lichtsinn treats COVID-19 patients at Hennepin Healthcare. She says the vaccinated patients she’s treated for the virus are far less sick and she hopes these new numbers will sway those who are still hesitant. 

"You know, I don’t have many tools as a physician that can protect people from illness the way this vaccine does," she said.

The CDC is also starting to track "breakthrough" cases as they’re known and the trend nationally is the same. By the end of April, across 46 states, there had been only 132 deaths among vaccinated individuals and health officials expect rates to fall further as vaccine participation goes up.

"That effectiveness is what is going to help us reduce COVID transmission and get us back to normal," said Minnesota Infectious Disease expert Kris Ehresmann.