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Minnesota to ramp up vaccinations amid questions of pace

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota officials are aiming to ramp up vaccination efforts as the pace to administer doses to healthcare workers and long-term care residents and staff moves slower than expected.

The Minnesota Department of Health reported on Monday that providers across the state have administered 78,402 doses of their nearly 300,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — less than 30% of the doses allocated to the state by the federal government.

Last week, state officials directed nearly $40 million from the state’s COVID-19 fund to the health department to support vaccination strategy and response efforts statewide.

Health officials on Monday reported 13 more Minnesotans have died due to the coronavirus, and 3,148 new infections, bringing the state’s totals to 5,443 deaths and 423,688 cases since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations continue to decline as just more than 800 patients were hospitalized with complications due to COVID-19 as of Sunday, including 156 in intensive care, compared with nearly 1,800 at the start of December.