MDH COVID-19 briefing: Minnesota to receive fewer vaccine doses next week than initially expected

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: December 18, 2020 06:05 PM
Created: December 18, 2020 02:11 PM

Friday, Minnesota health officials provided the latest update on the state's COVID-19 situation and vaccination efforts.

Minnesota Department of Health Jan Malcolm and Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann said the state is one of the many now being told it will receive fewer doses of the Pfizer vaccine than initially expected. Ehresmann said Minnesota is now expecting to receive 33,150 doses of the vaccine in next week's allotment, down from the earlier expectation of about 58,000 doses.

Pfizer said manufacturing fluctuations caused the change for some states but MDH noted the numbers are still very much in flux and could change again.

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Ehresmann also noted that the state will have received about 70,000 doses of the vaccine after next week's allotment arrives. She added that the federal government isn't giving long-term projections for vaccine doses to each state but rather is working on week-by-week allotments. So though it's unclear how much of the vaccine the state might get in following weeks, more doses are still expected.

As of Friday, Ehresmann said 947 health care workers in the state had received their first dose of the vaccine.

Additionally, MDH is expecting a decision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the country's potential second COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed by Moderna. A decision on that vaccine could come as soon as Friday night and could begin shipping out next week, if approved.

US awaits word on 2nd vaccine as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

As for the coronavirus situation in the state, Malcolm said recent data is still encouraging for Minnesota and appears to be headed in the right direction. However, she noted the state is still well above the high-risk levels in many categories, which is why it's still important for Minnesotans to continue following health guidelines, wearing masks and social distancing.

As of Friday, the state's average test positivity rate was at 9.7%. About 1,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Minnesota as of Friday, with 270 patients receiving intensive care. The population-based measure of case growth in the state dropped to 63 per 100,000 people per day, still well above the high-risk threshold of 10 per 100,000 people.

More information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota can be found at the link here.

MDH: 2,737 new COVID-19 cases, 65 deaths reported Friday

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