by Scott McClallen
On Tuesday, state health officials reported 53% of Minnesotans ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The state set a goal to reach 70% of seniors given one vaccination by the end of March so it can move to the next priority category to continue Minnesota’s recovery.
More than 908,590 Minnesotans have received the first injection, while 472,789 have taken both.
Once 70% of the state’s seniors have received the vaccine, Minnesota will expand eligibility based on underlying health conditions and workplace exposure risk.
The next eligibility category will include people with specific high-risk health conditions such as sickle cell disease, down syndrome, active cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions.
About 89% of COVID-19 deaths in Minnesota have come from those aged 65 and over. State data says COVID-19 has been a sole or contributing factor to the death of roughly 6,490 Minnesotans. Of those, 63%, or 4,057, were nursing home residents.
The state plans to protect those most vulnerable to dying if they contract COVID-19.
Anticipated timelines for phases are subject to change as vaccine supply from the federal government is adjusted. Details are available on the Who’s Getting Vaccinated page.
On Friday, a one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Demand for the COVID-19 vaccine still far exceeds supply. All Minnesotans should have access to a vaccine by this summer, Gov. Tim Walz’s office stated.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.