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Dozens of fully vaccinated Minnesotans have gotten COVID-19

MINNEAPOLIS — Health officials report dozens of fully-vaccinated people have contracted COVID-19 in Minnesota, a development that wasn’t unexpected.

The state has identified 89 coronavirus infections in people who have received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

State infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said the fraction of fully vaccinated people who still contract infections was expected. Clinical trials suggested the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 95% effective. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is said to be about 66% effective.

“We should not be fooled into seeing such a case as a reason to doubt the vaccine effectiveness,” said Ehresmann, noting that the cases represent less than one-tenth of one percent of people who have been fully vaccinated, the Star Tribune reported.

About 800,000 Minnesotans are fully vaccinated.

Doctors said even those who required hospitalization after being vaccinated had milder symptoms.

“Yes, people get COVID, but people in general do overall better,” said Dr. Andrew Olson, M Health Fairview’s director of hospital medicine. “We have seen that both in patients in our system who are hospitalized and patients who are not hospitalized.”

Later this week, Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce a timetable to expand vaccine eligibility in Minnesota. President Joe Biden has challenged states to make everyone eligible May, and at least six, including North Dakota, will have reached that stage by March 29.