The world's scientists have completed their miraculous mission of developing a COVID-19 vaccine. Now, the focus shifts to actually giving people the shots.
This is a massive challenge that will take months at a minimum to accomplish. Fortunately, Minnesotans will be able to closely monitor progress here thanks to a sensible change made by the state Department of Health.
On Tuesday, health officials began daily public updates (tinyurl.com/MNvaxadmin) on the number of COVID inoculations administered across the state. The data had been shared weekly since the first limited vaccine shipments arrived in mid-December.
More frequent updates serve the public and the agency. Nursing home residents and health care workers are at the head of the line. They and their families need to know how the rollout is going. Other high-priority groups will want to monitor progress to better gauge when it's their turn to get the shot.
The transparency also will help address concerns about lagging vaccinations here. Key national tracking sites showing Minnesota trailing other states were relying on outdated numbers.
So far, the state appears to be keeping pace with others, though there's room for improvement. Over 38,000 shots have been administered. That's 22% of 174,750 doses allocated so far to registered Minnesota providers. The state expects to receive a total of 250,000 doses by the year's end. Still, Minnesota has 5.6 million residents. Heavy lifting here and elsewhere lies ahead.