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10 Minnesota counties have now hit 70% adult vaccination rate

The more transmissible Delta variant is adding urgency to the vaccination effort.

Ten of Minnesota's 87 counties are at or above the 70% adult vaccination mark.

According to the most recent data from the state, more than seven out of every 10 people aged 16 and up in these counties have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Six of these 10 counties are in the Twin Cities metro, with the remaining four split between the northeast and southeast. 

The counties are:

  • Cook - 82.3%
  • Olmsted - 79.6%
  • Hennepin - 77.1%
  • Ramsey - 75.5%
  • Washington - 72.5%
  • Dakota - 71.7%
  • Carver - 71.2%
  • Houston - 70.3%
  • Carlton - 70.3%
  • Scott - 70.5%

A couple of weeks ago, only seven counties had reached the 70% threshold.

An additional seven counties are slowly creeping toward that mark. Those currently at or above a 65% adult vaccination rate are:

  • Big Stone - 67.4%
  • Fillmore - 67.3%
  • Lake - 66.7%
  • Wabasha - 66.6%
  • Goodhue - 66.1%
  • Brown - 65.8%
  • St. Louis - 65.3%

Little has changed on the lower end. In 13 counties, fewer than half of adults have received a COVID vaccine, the same number we counted 10 days ago. Those counties are:

  • Jackson - 49.9%
  • Marshall - 49.6%
  • Sibley - 49.1%
  • Meeker - 48.9%
  • Sherburne - 48.8%
  • Hubbard - 47.9%
  • Morrison - 47.6%
  • Benton - 46.3%
  • Isanti - 45.1%
  • Pine - 45%
  • Clearwater - 44.4%
  • Kanabec - 41.6%
  • Todd - 38.2%

Why is a 70% vaccination rate important?

Gov. Tim Walz set a goal of reaching a 70% adult vaccination rate statewide by the start of July, mirroring a nationwide target laid out by the White House. That percentage has been presented by public health experts as the bare minimum for reaching herd immunity and quashing the COVID-19 pandemic for good.

A recent Washington Post analysis found COVID-19 cases dropping significantly in areas with higher vaccination rates, while the majority of those dying from COVID-19 in the United States are unvaccinated.

The increasing spread of the Delta variant, which is more easily transmissible, adds a new sense of urgency, particularly in communities with a high percentage of unvaccinated individuals. 

Missouri is seeing a surge, and now has the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country, The Associated Press reports. This spike is occurring in areas of the state where the vaccination rate is at — or far below — 40%. Hospitals in the area told The AP about 60% of those requiring treatment in the intensive care unit are under the age of 40.

In Minnesota, the current statewide adult vaccination rate is 66.5%. 

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