ST. PAUL — More than 3 million Minnesotans have had their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials reported Wednesday, June 16.

Most of the partially vaccinated people in the state, some 2.9 million residents, are older than 16, according to recent Minnesota Department of Health Data, with younger Minnesotans between the ages of 12 and 15 making up the remainder. Another 2.7 million residents, most of whom are also older than 16, have been fully vaccinated.

Minnesota is inching closer to the goal of vaccinating 70% of the older-than-16 crowd at a time when the rate of vaccinations appears to be slipping, though the pandemic restrictions once tied to that benchmark were rescinded last month. Approximately 1.6 million doses were administered in April, according to health department data, but less than half as many were administered in May.

Wednesday's report comes as the U.S. records more than 600,000 COVID-19 deaths nationwide. The disease has so far been responsible for approximately 7,500 deaths in Minnesota.

New infections of COVID-19 and hospitalizations associated with it are nonetheless on the decline. The daily average of new cases per 100,000 residents stood most recently at 3.8, a number not seen since last spring.

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Minnesota's test positivity rate measured 1.8%, meanwhile, well below the 5% caution benchmark and lower than has ever been recorded in the state since the pandemic began.