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Roughly 5% of Minnesota is vaccinated, what numbers show us about remaining vulnerable population


ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said last week, "The fight is still going on, but the tide is definitely turning in this battle against COVID."

Vaccinations are rolling out in Minnesota. As of Monday, roughly 915,000 doses have been given. 238,000 Minnesotans are fully vaccinated, meaning they have gotten two doses each.

The last two weeks in Minnesota, medical professionals administered roughly 170,000 doses each week.

According to the Census Bureau's estimate in 2019, Minnesota's population is estimated at 5.68 million people. This means 12% of the population has at least one vaccine dose, 4.3% is fully vaccinated.

If we take a closer look, one piece of information puts those numbers in a more optimistic light.

The Minnesota Department of Health classifies those who have had COVID-19 as patients who no longer need isolation. The CDC says cases of reinfection have been reported but are rare.

Let's take Minnesota's roughly 461,000 confirmed cases out of the equation. We'll put them in the same category as fully vaccinated. Because with the CDC's guidance we'll say these folks are not nearly as vulnerable as the rest of the population.

Now let's look at age. In the United States, less than 1% of COVID-19 deaths have been people under the age of 18. The Census Bureau says 23% of Minnesotans are in that age group. So, 23% of 5.68 million people is 1.3 million.

If we remove children from the equation as well, plus those who've had the virus, plus the number of fully and partially vaccinated, that's roughly 2.44 million people statewide who are either vaccinated or not as vulnerable to the virus.

Here's a look at the math: 5.68 million Minnesotans (total population)

  • - 1.3 Million Children (less vulnerable)
  • - 461,000 Confirmed Cases (potentially immune)
  • - 238,000 Vaccinated
  • - 439,000 Partially Vaccinated
    = Roughly 3.2 million remain vulnerable

That tells us roughly 3.2 million Minnesotans are still more desperately in need of the vaccine. At 170,000 vaccine doses a week, those three million should at least have their first vaccine dose within 19 weeks, so by early July. It could be much sooner if vaccine dose production ramps up.

Another positive to look at, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said roughly 40 percent of Americans with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. That leaves a lot of data not recorded if those people never got tested. While that likely does not impact vaccine distribution and administration because those people are still in the equation, it does benefit the health of our state and country, if they are in fact immune.

However, to debunk this, it is important to note evidence is mounting that having COVID-19 may not protect against getting infected again with some of the new variants. And at this time, the CDC is not sure if people who are vaccinated can catch the virus, be asymptomatic, and still spread it to other people.

If you are confused by all these numbers and want to keep it simple, 5% of Minnesota's population is vaccinated.

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Kamie Roesler

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