ST. PAUL — Seventy percent of Minnesotans older than 18 have been partially vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday, July 1, putting the state ahead of President Joe Biden's vaccination goal for July Fourth.

Minnesota has yet to achieve the same feat for all residents ages 16 and older, who were among the first to be eligible for the vaccine, with approximately 67% of residents in that age range having had at least one dose of vaccine as of Tuesday, June 29.

Walz had hoped that 70% of Minnesotans 16 and older would get at least one dose of the vaccine no later than July 1.

Walz nevertheless called Thursday's news "a remarkable feat" in a state," and credited the vaccine for the recent decline in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Minnesota is averaging 1.7 new cases per 100,000 residents as of last week, and only 98 active hospitalizations attributed to the disease.

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"With nearly 6 million doses administered across our state, we are seeing firsthand that these vaccines work, and I encourage every Minnesotan who has not yet been vaccinated to get their shot as soon as they can," Walz said.

Nearly 64% of residents older than 16 have been fully vaccinated, meanwhile, as have an additional 85,822 children between ages 12 and 15. A total of 107,209 children are partially vaccinated.