MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the Pfizer vaccine gets prepped for distribution among the population ages 12 through 15, the Minnesota Department of Health on Monday reported 1,011 newly confirmed positive cases and 19 new deaths due to the virus in the last 24 hours, from about 34,474 newly completed tests.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 591,445 positive cases and 7,274 deaths.READ MORE: St. Paul Board Of Education Approves Plan For Spending $207M In COVID Relief Funding
Community spread remains high, with 43.7% of cases reported with no known source of exposure, tying the record for the highest that figure has been since the start of tracking. The line of caution is drawn at 20%, and high risk is at 30% or above, where Minnesota has been since late August.
The state has also surpassed 2.2 million residents completing their vaccine series. In total, 61% of Minnesotans 16 or older have received at least one dose, and 88% of those 65 or older have received at least one dose, a figure that’s been more or less stagnant in recent days.
In total, the state has administered 4,716,455 doses of vaccine. Gov. Tim Walz said Thursday 520,000 of those doses have been administered at the state’s nine Community Vaccination Program locations in Bloomington, St. Paul, Lino Lakes, Oakdale, Mankato, Duluth, Rochester, St. Cloud and the State Fairgrounds.
“Our Community Vaccination Program has been a huge success, helping Minnesotans receive their vaccine in convenient, familiar locations around the state,” Walz said in a release. “More than half a million shots administered is a huge accomplishment, and a credit to our Community Vaccination Workgroup and partners.”READ MORE: Foster Youths Affected By Pandemic Eligible For Financial Assistance
The state’s rolling average positivity rate is sitting at 5.9%, which is roughly where it’s been plateauing for more than a week. Anything above 5% is considered cause for increased caution. The most recent peak in the positivity rate was in early April, at about 7.5%.
According to MDH, since the pandemic began, more than 4.1 million Minnesotans have been tested.
The latest figures of those hospitalized show 129 Minnesotans in ICU, down significantly in the last six weeks, when near the beginning of April that figure was closer to 200. The overall figures show an average of 11.4 new daily hospitalizations per 100,000 residents, which is a figure that has been falling in recent days.
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light to using Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine in children 12 to 15 years old. Pfizer’s vaccine was previously approved for those ages 16 and up.MORE NEWS: 6 Minnesota Schools Recognized As 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools
The FDA’s review of Pfizer’s data confirmed the company’s clinical trial found the shots were safe and effective in adolescents, and that the side effects were “consistent” with older age groups. In the study, 97.9% of adolescents were found to have produced enough antibodies in the month after their second dose.