Daily Covid-19 update: Mayo waits for, wants more vaccine; Freeborn’s active count increases to 107

Published 3:05 pm Thursday, January 28, 2021

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A Mayo Clinic infectious disease expert said Thursday the regional health provider has the ability to vaccinate thousands more than they are now.

The supply of COVID-19 vaccines simply hasn’t been given to them to administer.

“We’re set up to vaccinate about 2,000 a day, or 10,000 a week,” said Dr. Abinash Virk in a call with reporters. “We could increase to 50,000 a week.”

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Mayo will distribute all of its 3,235 doses made available this week.

The issue, nationwide, is the availability of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Virk said Mayo receives its doses from the Minnesota Department of Health, which receives them from the federal government.

“We have the capacity to dispense those vaccines,” Virk said. “We have the capacity to vaccinate people as soon as we receive more doses.”

Mayo and other providers are focusing on patients 80 and older. Officials say that the age group is most susceptible to COVID-related hospitalizations and death.

When supplies increase, Virk expects the age cut off to drop.

Other points from Thursday’s call:

  • Patients 80 and older are receiving messages via Mayo’s online portal or phone calls to schedule vaccinations.
  • Virk said Mayo officials have treated 10 people with “adverse reactions” to the vaccine, including anaphylactic shock and ringing of the ears.
  • Virk noted the importance of a second dose of vaccine: “It improves immune response from 80% to more than 90%, and it significantly reduces the risk of severe COVID.”

South-Central Minnesota

Freeborn County reported 15 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths on Thursday.

The county’s active bounced up a little from Wednesday to 107. Most of the cases were people in the 90s, 80s, 30s and 20s.

There was one new hospitalization.

Freeborn has had 2,571 total cases and 23 deaths.

The following are updates on other area counties:

  • Faribault County: 12 new lab-confirmed cases; 1,112 total cases.
  • Mower County: 75 new lab-confirmed cases; 3,782 total cases.
  • Steele County: 15 new lab-confirmed cases; 2,813 total cases.
  • Waseca County: 17 new lab-confirmed cases; 1,952 total cases.

Minnesota reported 16 more deaths – none in south-central Minnesota – caused by COVID-19 Thursday, along with 1,331 new cases.