North Dakota's vaccine effort remains one of the best in the nation, though that might be contributing to a potential issue.
More than 15,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to out-of-state residents, according to the state's Immunization Information Service. Minnesotans received just over 12,000 of those doses.
Most of the out-of-state residents vaccinated in North Dakota are health care workers or have a primary care physician in North Dakota, according to state Immunization Program Manager Molly Howell.
"However, we are starting to see data showing that people are traveling to North Dakota from out of state just to be vaccinated; these individuals should be vaccinated in their own state,” she said.
A Health Department spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about the reasons that's happening.
The agency issued a reminder to vaccine providers to limit vaccinations to only qualified nonresidents. College students and people who work in North Dakota or are established patients of North Dakota health care providers can be vaccinated in the state, according to the Health Department.
North Dakota has administered 227,152 total doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the state reported Tuesday. Nearly 34,700 doses have been administered in Burleigh-Morton counties, according to the state's vaccine dashboard.
Vaccinations in the state began two months ago. Both vaccines require two doses, weeks apart. More than 18% of North Dakotans age 16 and older have received their first dose; more than 10% have received their second dose. The Pfizer vaccine is federally recommended for people age 16 and older; the Moderna vaccine for those 18 and older.
North Dakota's rate of total coronavirus vaccine doses administered -- 31,308 people per 100,000 population -- remains among the highest in the country, according to the CDC tracking site. Only Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota have higher rates.
Pharmacies, local public health departments and private health care providers all are offering vaccines. There are 405 enrolled provider sites in the state, including 67 in Burleigh-Morton.
State health officials on Tuesday announced 106 new cases of COVID-19 in North Dakota and two more deaths, but little change in active cases or hospitalizations.
The new confirmed cases brought the pandemic total to 99,957, with 97,934 recoveries, 1,447 deaths and 3,874 hospitalizations. Current hospitalizations dropped by one from Monday, to 24.
Active cases rose by five statewide, to 576, and remained stable in Burleigh-Morton counties at 106.
The Health Department calculated a positivity rate of 2.3% from 5,960 tests handled Monday. More than 1.6 million tests have been completed in North Dakota since the onset of the pandemic about a year ago.
All North Dakota counties are in the green "low" risk level on the state's five-level color-coded system. The risk level determines coronavirus-related protocols in place under the ND Smart Restart Plan for everything from businesses to family gatherings. Those protocols are not enforced. For more information, go to https://bit.ly/38npUYV.
The state's COVID-19 Smart Restart County Analysis data dashboard can be accessed at www.health.nd.gov/healthmetrics. A list of free testing offered by local public health units is at health.nd.gov/covidtesting. A list of vaccine priority groups can be found at https://www.health.nd.gov/covid-19-vaccine-priority-groups. People can go to health.nd.gov/covidvaccinelocator or call 866-207-2880 to see where COVID-19 vaccine is available near them.
For more detailed information on coronavirus in North Dakota, go to www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus.
Reach Sam Nelson at 701-250-8264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.