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Unvaccinated people continue to experience the most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths despite being in the minority in Minnesota.

The latest breakthrough figures for Minnesota were released by the Minnesota Department of Health Monday, showing that despite concerns over "waning" vaccine efficacy and the spread of the highly contagious and deadly delta variant, vaccinated Minnesotans remain much better protected against the virus than those who haven't had their shots or booster.

Between October 3 and November 6, there were 368 unvaccinated Minnesotans who died from COVID-19, compared to 289 who were vaccinated. That's a disproportionately high number of unvaccinated deaths, considering the unvaccinated comprise just 27.4% of Minnesotans over the age of 16.

Most of the deaths happened among Minnesotans aged 65 and over, a population that is more vulnerable to the virus and has more co-morbidities. It is also a population that in Minnesotan has an even smaller percentage of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated at just 7 percent.

The death rate among Minnesotans aged 65 and older who were not fully vaccinated was more than 17 times higher than among the vaccinated during the five-week period, and 12.5 times higher among the 50-64 age group.

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Deaths among the unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated have exploded since the delta variant arrived during the summer.

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Hospitalizations also steadily rose in October, and have accelerated even further since the latest breakthrough data ends on Nov. 3.

In the same five-week period leading up to Nov. 3, there were 2,613 unvaccinated Minnesotans hospitalized with COVID-19, more than twice as many as those vaccinated (1,277), who are also less likely to require ICU care compared to an unvaccinated person.

While deaths are less common among the younger population, the latest data shows that teens and young adults are far more likely to end up in a hospital with COVID-19 compared to one fully vaccinated.

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With vaccines more effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths than they are at preventing infections, particularly following the onset of the delta variant, there has been a rise in breakthrough cases among the vaccinated.

Still, there remain far more cases among the unvaccinated despite their smaller population, with 46,379 cases among the non-fully-vaccinated between Oct. 3 and Nov. 6, compared to 33,358 among the fully vaccinated.

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