More than 76% of Minnesotans aged 65+ have received at least 1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The Minnesota Department of Health reported that about 1,284,612 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 746,829 have been fully vaccinated.

Officials also reported 1,046 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths Wednesday. Minnesota has now seen a total of 499,962 cases and 6,756 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Of the newly reported deaths, two people were residents in long-term care facilities. The 1,046 newly reported cases are out of 21,047 tests, a 4.9% positivity rate. 

Meanwhile, Minnesota health officials announced loosened restrictions for residents in long-term care facilities, including outings and more visitations.

According to state data, about 76% of Minnesota's population age 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, about 22% of those age 50-64 have received at least one dose.

MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says on Thursday Minnesota will report its 500,000th confirmed COVID-19 case and 2 million vaccines administered.

Last week, Minnesota began its next vaccination phase, weeks ahead of schedule. The new eligibility includes 1.8 million people with underlying health conditions and frontline essential workers.

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Walz said he will expand vaccine eligibility to all Minnesotans before May 1, President Joe Biden’s deadline for doing so. However, that does not guarantee there will be enough vaccine supply for everyone to get one on that date. 

Minnesotans are encouraged to sign up on the state’s Vaccine Connector website to be notified when they are eligible for a vaccine.