Minn. ranks 8th in residents who received H1N1 vaccineby Lorna Benson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota ranks eighth in the nation in the percentage of residents who received H1N1 influenza vaccine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that 31 percent of Minnesotans age six months and older have been vaccinated so far.
Minnesota Department of Health epidemiologist Kris Ehresmann said among some sub-groups, the state performed even better.
"We were first in vaccination coverage for people age 25 to 64 years who have underlying medical conditions," she said. "We're really pleased that Minnesota was able to get 47 percent of that population estimated to be vaccinated."
Public health officials had hoped to vaccinate 90 percent of the population against H1N1. But Ehresmann said by the time larger quantities of the vaccine arrived last December, the outbreak was waning and many people lost interest in vaccination.
Ehresmann said health officials were a little disappointed that Minnesota placed 14th in the country for vaccinating children. Forty-four percent of children were vaccinated against H1N1 flu.
"That's a population that historically hasn't pursued seasonal vaccination until recently, so it's a group that really isn't thinking about vaccination," she said.
Ehresmann said the percentage would have been higher if there had been more vaccine during the height of the outbreak.