MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been over a year since the first case of COVID-19 was detected in Minnesota. And since then, life has changed and the virus has evolved.
Even though we know more about this virus now than we did last March, and many have already received their vaccination, there’s still a lot of information to track. So, each week, we’re asking experts questions about COVID-19 developments.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Positivity Rate Falls To 5%; 14 New Deaths Reported In Last Day
Returning this week for Clarifying COVID is Dr. George Morris, who is the Physician Vice President for Performance Excellence at CentraCare. Since January of last year, he’s been serving as the physician incident commander for CentraCare’s COVID-19 response.
Watch the video above, or read Dr. Morris’ answers to some of the bigger COVID-19 questions below:
How many people need to get vaccinated for the state to reach herd immunity?
I’ve kind of used a broad range in my mind. Anywhere between 70% and 90% is really good.
As these new variants spread, if we can get the 80%, I really think we would cut down on that, especially knowing how these new variants are more contagious.READ MORE: Best Buy, Hy-Vee No Longer Requiring Masks For Fully Vaccinated Customers, Employees
Once you get vaccinated, can you still transmit COVID to other people?
How likely are you to get it afterwards? That could be called those breakthrough infections, and we’ve seen a few people. It’s not zero. But at least what we’ve tracked here internally, and what I’ve seen at the statewide data is probably like .05%. So, maybe a few hundred people have had COVID, even after they’ve been fully vaccinated. And of those we haven’t seen that spread to all of their family members, all of their communities, everything else. We haven’t seen large outbreaks in those fully vaccinated populations.
What does summertime look like?
So what’s happening in six weeks from now? Well, a lot of graduations, end of the high school season, more travels, spending time with others. So, if we can take the time now to do our masking and our behaviors, and encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated, that’s what really helps set the stage for a safe summer season six weeks from now.
What does a vaccine for kids look like?
Pfizer has done their submission for adding their authorization to get down to the age of 12.MORE NEWS: Twin Cities Concert Bookers 'Working Fast And Furious' To Bring In Shows As COVID Restrictions End
This is where the adolescent, that child immune system and immune response looks like it’s even geared up better, you know, to respond to this vaccine. So, we are looking forward to a decision coming and starting to vaccine 12 and above. I think that’ll also help us get down to a safer summer.