COVID-19 update: Vaccination pace stays relatively flat

Published 7:18 pm Sunday, February 21, 2021

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The pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Minnesota stayed relatively flat in Sunday’s update from state health officials, with no sign yet of a decline due to weather-delayed vaccine shipments.

Averaged over the past week, the number of vaccine doses administered each day ticked upward slightly, to just under 30,000.

But more than half of the new vaccinations reported Sunday were second doses, allowing people to complete their vaccinations. The number of people getting their first vaccine dose has been falling in recent days.

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There’s a lag time in reporting vaccination info — Sunday’s update from state health officials reflects data as of Friday — so it’s possible that the effects of the past week’s severe winter weather on vaccine shipments may show up in the coming days. Some vaccination appointments in Minnesota over the weekend were postponed due to those delays.

About 13.6 percent of Minnesotans had received at least one dose as of the latest update, with about 6.1 percent completely vaccinated. More than 41 percent of Minnesotans 65 and older have received at least one shot.

The total number of vaccine doses administered now stands at 1,059,617.

Here are Minnesota’s current COVID-19 statistics:

  • 6,432 deaths (9 new)
  • 479,036 positive cases (891 new), 465,382 off isolation (97 percent)
  • 7.2 million tests, 3.4 million Minnesotans tested (about 59 percent of the population)
  • 13.6 percent of Minnesotans vaccinated with at least one dose

State public health leaders have emphasized over the past weeks that the relatively low flow of vaccine supplies from the federal government is the main problem holding back the pace of vaccinations.

While recent vaccination numbers are trending upward, Minnesota at the current pace would only be able to vaccinate about 80 percent of adults by sometime in September. Getting it done by summer would require the state to administer 40,000 to 50,000 shots per day, or more.

Minnesota is currently ranked 20th among states in doses administered per 100,000 people, according to data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccination questions aside, Minnesota’s COVID-19 numbers show the state on a steady, positive path, with key pandemic metrics continuing to improve. Known, active cases held steady at just over 7,200, but the overall trend is solid, hovering around late September levels.

The seven-day hospital admissions trend for people with COVID-19 has also receded to September levels.

Nine reported deaths on Sunday raised Minnesota’s toll to 6,432. Among those who’ve died, about 63 percent had been living in long-term care or assisted living facilities; most had underlying health problems.

The seven-day rolling average for deaths is at eight deaths per day, near the lowest since September.

The state has recorded 479,036 total confirmed or probable cases so far in the pandemic, including 891 reported Sunday. About 97 percent of Minnesotans known to be infected with COVID-19 in the pandemic have recovered to the point they no longer need to be isolated.

State health officials continue to monitor new virus strains circulating in the United States, which may be more contagious.


South-central Minnesota update

Freeborn County reported six new cases Sunday, increasing the county’s cumulative total to 2,755.

Of the total, 46 are active cases. No new hospitalizations or deaths were reported. 

The new cases included two people ranging from 15 to 19 and two each in theirs 50s and 60s.

The following is an update on other area counties:

• Faribault County: eight new lab-confirmed cases; 1,209 total cases

• Mower County: six new lab-confirmed cases; 3,985 total cases

• Steele County: one new lab-confirmed case; 2,965 total cases

• Waseca County: five new lab-confirmed cases; 2,057 total cases