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Ramsey County becomes fourth to pass 70% adult vaccination rate

That's been a key threshold in discussions around herd immunity.
covid vaccine card

There are now four counties in Minnesota with an adult vaccination rate above 70%.

Ramsey County late this week inched its way up to 70.1% of the 16-plus population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It's the latest county to cross that vaccination rate. The others, in order:

  • Cook County: 79.5%
  • Olmsted County: 75.7%
  • Hennepin County: 72.3%

Seventy percent is a figure Gov. Tim Walz and public health officials have held up as the floor for pushing the country toward herd immunity. In fact this week, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said having 70% of Americans with at least one shot by July 4 would help prevent a resurgence of COVID-10 later in the year.

The statewide vaccination rate for those 16-and-up is 62.7%, as of Friday's figures. Walz had initially said a 70% vaccination rate would lead to an end to the statewide mask mandate before July 1. But he quickly changed course, dropping the mask mandate a week later.

After an initial surge in vaccinations, the state's pace of vaccinations has slowed. More than 407,000 people received a vaccine dose the week of April 4. That number was just over 223,000 the week of May 9. The Department of Health has since made a strategic shift toward getting people vaccinated, even if it means a bit more waste.

Sixteen counties currently show a vaccination rate of more than 60%-69.9%. They are:

  • Fillmore: 69.2%
  • Washington: 68.1%
  • Carlton: 67.5%
  • Wabasha: 67.5%
  • Carver: 67.4%
  • Houston: 67.2%
  • Dakota: 66.7%
  • Big Stone: 66.2%
  • Scott: 65.5%
  • Goodhue: 63,7%
  • Brown: 63.5%
  • Lake: 63.5%
  • St. Louis: 63%
  • Mahnomen: 62.8%
  • Rice: 62.4%
  • Nicollet: 61.3%

But most are below 60%, some even into the 40% range. Walz this week said he's considering the idea of offering incentivizes to try to drive up the vaccination rate. Meanwhile, the Wild, Twins, Lynx and Loons this week announced some in-stadium vaccination opportunities during upcoming games.

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