MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz joined a virtual roundtable with President Joe Biden Tuesday.

The administration is highlighting states with vaccine success.

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: Health Department Reports 173 New Cases, 9 More Deaths

“Tim, what are you seeing up in your state right now?” Biden asked Walz.

“We saw a spike here recently in this latest surge around the B117 variant. But because of the availability of the vaccine, the speed that it had gotten out, we were able to blunt that,” Walz said. “And what that meant was is hospitals did not become overwhelmed. We did not have to close back down doing many of the things we were doing.”

READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 174 Cases, 7 Deaths Reported; Cumulative Fatalities Breach 7,500

Currently, Minnesota is in the top five states for the percentage of vaccine doses administered, boasting a rate of nearly 90%. Meanwhile, some other states are experiencing a serious drop in vaccine demand, which is affecting their ability to use the vaccines they receive before the doses expire. As a result, these states are asking for fewer vaccine shipments.

Minnesota has also had a relatively low death rate throughout the pandemic — 129 deaths per 100,000 people. While that number is similar to neighboring Wisconsin, it’s much lower than Iowa’s and about half of the rate seen in the Dakotas.

Overall, over 60% of Minnesotans ages 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose while nearly 50% of those eligible have received the full series. The state’s goal is to reach 70% of Minnesotans 16 and older fully vaccinated this summer, when the face mask mandate will be lifted. Perhaps starting this week, children as young as 12 may start to be getting vaccinated.

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Governors from Maine, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Mexico, and Utah were also in attendance.

Christiane Cordero