Vaccine distribution going slower than expected

Garrett Short
Created: January 12, 2021 06:53 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota hasn't been as productive as the Minnesota Department of Health, or the state's citizens, have been hoping for.

The state's new vaccine data dashboard shows their most current data, with 19,089 seniors, or Minnesotans 65 and up, having received the vaccine.

What sticks out though is that just 13.2% of the state's vaccinations have been given to seniors. That number pales in comparison to other states, like Florida. According to the Governor of Florida's website, the Sunshine State has used 51% of their vaccines on seniors. MDH says it simply comes down to what each state's priority is.

"It's really quite variable by state because of who and how the vaccines are being provided to the elder population. Florida, they had a plan and then they sort of ditched their plan and just said 'we're just doing 65 and older.' So their healthcare workers have been kind of left to fend for themselves to get additional vaccines," MDH Director of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division Kris Ehresmann said.

Minnesota has elected to initially vaccinate healthcare workers and people with serious health conditions instead of seniors. But MDH says things still should be moving faster. They are hoping the Trump Administration's announcement of distributing their reserve stash of vaccines helps speed up the vaccination process. This would help get seniors security against the virus.

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