MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The State of Minnesota on Tuesday released a new, more comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination dashboard. Meanwhile, Minnesota health officials reported 1,335 more virus cases and 13 more deaths.

The dashboard was produced by Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) and MDH. The dashboard is designed in a user-friendly way with four tabs on the top keeping close track.

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“Today, Minnesota launched its new COVID dashboard on the state’s response website,” MNIT Commissioner Tarek Tomes said. “This dashboard shines a light on important date in order to shape and promote the best possible outcomes.”

From the summary stating more than 144,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine, to who’s getting vaccinated — 2.6% of Minnesota’s population right now. There’s a county map showing Mahnomen and Olmstead County with the highest percentage of their populations receiving a shot.

The dashboard provides more specific information on vaccination administration and distribution, how many doses have been shipped to health providers in the state (329,450) and how many total doses have been promised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (541,100).

“We are committed to ensuring Minnesotans know how much vaccine is coming to our state and how many of our neighbors are receiving their shots when it’s their turn,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “Transparency is a cornerstone principle of our vaccine rollout. We are pleased to provide Minnesotans with this vital information as the light at the end of the tunnel grows brighter.”

According to the dashboard, over 152,000 vaccine doses have been administered in the state as of Jan. 9, with almost 7,400 people having completed the vaccine series of two shots. The state has used about a third of its total doses.

“This dashboard provides Minnesotans with transparency and promotes confidence that COVID-19 vaccine doses are consistently arriving in Minnesota, and shots are going in the arms of our health care workers and most vulnerable family and friends,” MNIT Commissioner Tarek Tomes said. “It will help Minnesotans visualize our progress toward ending this pandemic for good.”

The data shows that vaccine doses administered has increased every week since mid-December. From 4,677 doses administered on the week of Dec. 13 to 63,727 doses administered during the week of Jan. 3. The data also shows daily vaccine administrations.

(credit: State of Minnesota)

Still, less than 0.1% of people in Minnesota have completed the vaccine series and less than 3% have had at least one shot.

“The COVID-19 vaccination data can be used to monitor state- and county-level immunization coverage and progress towards national, state, and local coverage goals. The data can also help to identify at-risk populations and encourage public health actions and policies aimed at increasing immunization. The data cannot tell us why people are not vaccinated. Some people may not have ready access to the vaccine, and some people may choose not to vaccinate. Also, some people may have received vaccinations that are not recorded in MIIC, such as those who were vaccinated in another state,” a dashboard note reads.

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The site also shows 13% of people vaccinated have been 65 or older, a percentage lower than in other states. It’s all part of the Phase 1A plan that, as of right now, Minnesota health officials hope to complete by the end of the month.

“In this first stage we prioritized healthcare workers and individuals in skilled nursing facilities and in assisted living,” Kris Ehresmann, Director of MDH Epidemiology, explained. “We are not holding back any vaccine. If we get 100 doses in we distribute 100 doses.”

The federal government is now directing states to vaccinate anyone 65 or older, but the directive is being met with many questions by Minnesota’s Department of Health. There are no additional doses to go along with that plan yet.

As the number of coronavirus deaths pushes closer to 400,000 nationwide, the Trump administration unexpectedly announced Tuesday it will stop holding back second doses of vaccine. That practically doubles the supply. It’s the same approach President-elect Joe Biden announced Monday.

The CDC says nearly 9 million Americans have received their first vaccine doses. That’s only about one-third of the more than 25 million doses distributed.

Click here to visit the dashboard.

MDH Releases Daily Update On COVID-19

Minnesota health officials on Tuesday reported 1,335 more virus cases and 13 more deaths.

With the daily update from the Minnesota Department of Heatlth, the state is closely approaching 440,000 total reported COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began; 34,132 cases have been discovered among health care workers. About 418,610 people who contracted the virus have recovered enough to not need to isolate themselves from others.

The state’s death toll is now 5,724, with 3,660 of those deaths occurring in long-term or assisted living facilities.

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Over 29,000 COVID-19 tests have been completed in the laste 24 hours. Over 3 million people have been tested in the state so far.

Liz Collin