Minnesota hits 70% mark for 1st vaccinations for 16 and up
Published 12:13 pm Thursday, August 12, 2021
ST. PAUL — Minnesota has reached the milestone of vaccinating 70% of its population age 16 and older with at least one dose against COVID-19, Gov, Tim Walz announced Thursday.
The governor’s office credited a recent rise in vaccination rates amid concerns over the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus, and the state’s $100 rewards for people who get their first shot before Aug. 15. The number of first doses administered per week is up 129% after bottoming out a month ago. New vaccinations peaked in April in Minnesota.
“The data is clear: vaccines are our key to fighting COVID-19 and the delta variant, and millions of Minnesotans rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves, their families, and their communities,” Walz said in a statement.
The governor’s office cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that Minnesota currently leads the Midwest in the percentage of the overall population who have completed their vaccination series at 54.4%.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said hitting the 70% mark is good progress but that it’s important to vaccinate as many more people as possible as the return to school approaches.
Walz on Wednesday announced that state agency employees must get vaccinated by Sept. 8 or undergo weekly testing before they can return to the office.