MDH briefing: Vaccinations continue at increased pace but vigilance needed as variants spread

Updated: March 19, 2021 04:01 PM
Created: March 19, 2021 03:24 PM

At Friday's Minnesota Department of Health briefing, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann spoke about increasing vaccinations along with the need to remain vigilant as new COVID-19 variants spread.

As the United States passed the landmark of 100 million doses administered and Minnesota passed 2 million doses administered, Malcolm answered questions about Minnesota's pace of vaccination. Minnesota is still in the top 10 states for vaccination pace, according to Malcolm, and 77% of citizens who are 65 or older have been vaccinated. 

Even with the pace of vaccinations, Ehresmann noted that they are in a race against the virus variants. Virus variant B117, also known as the U.K. variant, has been spreading around Minnesota according to Ehresmann. Along with B117, variants P1, B1427 and B14290 have also been found in the state. 

With the variant spread, both Malcolm and Ehresmann urge Minnesotans to continue to follow guidelines by keeping a safe distance, wearing masks consistently, avoiding large crowds, washing hands frequently and using other mitigation techniques. 

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