Over 2M Minnesotans now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as vaccination pace slows

Over two million people in Minnesota are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the latest data from the state health department. 

The Minnesota Department of Health reported Wednesday that about 46% of eligible Minnesotans have completed the vaccine series. Over 2.6 million Minnesotans, or around 59% of the state’s 16 and older population, have at least one dose of the vaccine. 

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, MDH reported fewer than 10,000 people got a first dose of the vaccine, the first time that has happened on back-to-back days since February’s winter storm caused vaccine shipments to be delayed. 

The vaccination pace has fallen in the past three weeks. At the current pace, Minnesota would get to 70% of eligible Minnesotans with one dose in early June and fully vaccinated in mid-June. This had once been May before the pace slowed.

The slowdown comes as Gov. Tim Walz is set to announce Thursday a further easing of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. On Tuesday, Walz linked reopening to a 70% vaccination rate, which he said "changes the calculus" and enables a "very normal summer." 

GET YOUR SHOT: How to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Minnesota

Meanwhile, MDH reported 1,267 new COVID-19 cases and 17 more deaths on Wednesday. Minnesota has now seen 582,576 COVID-19 cases and 7,191 deaths attributed to the disease since the pandemic began. 

The 1,267 newly reported cases were out of 25,827 tests, a 4.9% positivity rate. Minnesota’s seven-day rolling average positivity rate is down to 5.9%, but appears to be plateauing. Anything over 5% is a concern for MDH because it indicates a high rate of community transmission of the disease. 

The 17 new deaths reported on Wednesday included one person in their 20s and two people in their 50s. Three of the people who died lived in long-term care facilities.

Hospitalizations increased slightly from the day before. There are now 431 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across Minnesota, up from 426 on Thursday. The number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU remained unchanged at 149.