Minnesota hits vaccination goal of 70% of people 16 and older with 1 shot

Forty-three days after Gov. Tim Walz's original July 1 goal, Minnesota has finally reached 70% of people 16 and older with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Walz announced Thursday that Minnesota surpassed the 70% vaccination threshold following a recent rise in vaccination rates. The number of first doses administered per week is up 129% from one month ago, according to the governor’s office.

Over six million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the state to date.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota currently leads the Midwest in the percentage of the overall population who have completed their vaccination series with 54.4% of people fully vaccinated, Walz’s office said.

Minnesotans who get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine now until Aug. 15 are eligible for a $100 Visa gift card. You can submit a request for the reward here. Over 30,000 people have requested it so far

Meanwhile, the number of new COVID-19 infections has been increasing week-over-week in Minnesota, with the highly contagious delta variant making up the majority of cases. The seven-day rolling average positivity rate has surpassed the 5% caution threshold, indicating a high rate of community transmission in the state.

All but seven of Minnesota’s 87 counties are now considered to have substantial or high risk of transmission of the virus, which is when the CDC recommends mask wearing.

However, vaccines are working. The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows 99.8% of vaccinated people in Minnesota have not gotten COVID-19