Minnesota is first in the nation in COVID vaccine distribution for administering over 88.5 percent of the doses it has received, according to the CDC.

Governor Tim Walz says he’s “so proud of all the hard work” people have done “to make Minnesota a consistent leader in the nation in getting shots into arms” — and Walz says “we won’t stop until every Minnesotan who wants a shot gets one.”   (Two-and-a-quarter million vaccine doses have been administered, with over 850-thousand Minnesotans receiving both shots.) But Walz’s announcement could also provide ammunition for Republicans,   who argue significant progress toward so-called “herd immunity” means the governor should completely re-open Minnesota immediately.   State health officials say the U-K COVID variant has become widespread in Minnesota and emphasize the need for continued mask-wearing and social distancing — although they say early indications are that severe cases could fewer than in prior surges.

North Dakota ranks second in the nation for vaccinations administered, says the C-D-C. Iowa is fifth and Wisconsin is sixth. South Dakota ranks 21st.