Minnesota health officials on Saturday reported a single-day high of more than 85,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, but concerns remain about the rising number of cases across the state.
At least 1,770,290 Minnesotans have received one dose of a COVID vaccine, and 1,129,863 have completed their vaccinations. All told, 85,573 vaccine doses were reported in the Minnesota Department of Health's (MDH) Saturday update.
"Every dose brings us closer to our goal of crushing COVID-19," state Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said in an e-mail Saturday. "We are really pleased at the interest and uptake of vaccine to date."
Access to the vaccine was expanded last week to all 4.4 million Minnesotans 16 and older as doses were available at health care facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies and community sites throughout the state.
To date, about 32% of the state's population has received a first dose, about 20% have completed a vaccine series, and 82% of the state's seniors 65 and older have gotten an initial shot.
The goal, Ehresmann noted, is to get at least 80% of the state's population vaccinated.
"While we are celebrating how far we have already come, we still have a way to go," she said.
A shipment of 80,000 doses of the single-dose COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected in Minnesota this week.
Health officials on Saturday also reported 2,075 new COVID-19 cases as the seven-day trend in case counts continues to rise. So far, 526,267 Minnesotans have had confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 that were reported to state officials after being confirmed by testing.
The Health Department on Saturday reported 11 additional deaths from COVID-19 complications, including four people who lived in assisted living or long-term care facilities. A total of 6,875 Minnesotans have died from the virus.
A viral variant from the United Kingdom has become a dominant source of COVID-19 in Minnesota of late, driving the state's case and hospitalization rates to some of the highest in the country.
The number of people needing hospitalization for COVID-19 complications since the pandemic began stood at 27,553 on Saturday. MDH reported that 77 COVID-19 patients were newly admitted to hospital beds, including nine in intensive-care facilities.
Janet Moore • 612-673-7752 @ByJanetMoore