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Minnesota reports more COVID-19 breakthrough cases; 0.24% of fully vaccinated people infected

Small fractions of those fully vaccinated against the illness were reported to have been hospitalized or have died from COVID-19.

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Photo: Unsplash/Fusion Medical Animation
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ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Health on Monday, Aug. 16, reported that 1,572 more Minnesotans had tested positive for a breakthrough COVID-19 case as compared to a week earlier, bringing the total number of cases reported in people who've completed a vaccine series to 7,171.

To date, 584 fully-vaccinated Minnesotans have been hospitalized with breakthrough cases, including 70 more than a week earlier. And 60 were reported to have died from breakthrough infections, according to the department.

The infections among fully-vaccinated people continue to be rare, according to the state's data. Just 0.24% of those vaccinated against COVID-19 have tested positive for the illness. The state's data can lag by a week or more due to delays in matching up cases with state immunization information.

Health officials last week said the increase in new cases was attributed to the broad spread of the more contagious delta variant. Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm on Friday, Aug. 13, said 95% of COVID-19 samples sequenced in the state were of the delta variant.

Malcolm said the current surge in cases doesn't appear as worrisome as prior peaks since more than 70% of the state's population aged 16 and older had been vaccinated against the disease. But she urged those who'd not been vaccinated to seek out a shot to prevent the illness from again taking hold in Minnesota.

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The surge of the delta variant along with a state incentive to get immunized boosted vaccination rates in the state earlier this month. And Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday announced that the state would extend its program to give $100 gift cards to those who get a COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Sunday, 55,456 people had requested the incentive. Walz said the promotion would continue through Aug. 22. The program was set to lapse on Aug. 15.

“With the delta variant pushing cases up across the country, including right here in Minnesota, we’ve entered a new phase in the battle against COVID-19," Walz said in a news release. "The vaccines are the way we fight back against the virus. Get your first dose today and get $100. Simple as that.”

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Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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