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Photo: Johnny Milano/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses started to arrive in Minnesota Wednesday, giving a much-needed boost to the state's vaccine rollout.

Why it matters: Something like normalcy could be here faster than anticipated. Gov. Tim Walz signaled optimism about planning a June wedding. And he said the "brass ring is pretty grabbable" for the State Fair.

Driving the news: Walz said that, even with a dip in shipments expected next week due to manufacturing constraints, we should soon ramp up to 200,000 doses a week.

  • That increased supply would allow the state to "significantly beat" its end-of-March goal for vaccinating at least 70% of seniors — and open appointments to the next eligible groups even faster.
  • As supply picks up, we'll also need infrastructure and systems in place to administer the doses.
  • Walz signed a bill Wednesday allowing dentists to administer the vaccines.

The state of play: At the current pace, we're on target to get 80% of adults one shot by late June, MPR News' David Montgomery projects.

  • Doubling the doses per day would get us to herd immunity by May.

A caveat: While case numbers remain stable, the governor still won't commit to a timeline for further lifting restrictions, given COVID variants.

  • He's consulting public health leaders, including modeling experts at the Mayo Clinic, "to figure out if we can outrace this thing with vaccinations."

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

More women than men are getting vaccinated in Minnesota

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Nearly three months into the vaccine rollout, women are getting shots at much higher rates than men.

By the numbers: Nearly two-thirds of the 908,000 Minnesotans who have received at least one dose identify as women, according to the state's Vaccine Dashboard.

Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between coronavirus doses

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a February news conference in Ottawa, Canada. Photo: David Kawai/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on Wednesday recommended extending the interval between first and second doses of COVID-19 to up to four months to boost inoculation numbers.

Why it matters: The panel said taking such action would allow about 80% of Canadians over 16 to receive a single dose by the end of June.

U.S. 7-day COVID-19 vaccine average tops 2M per day for first time

Healthcare worker Karen Crawford (L) as nurse Yolanda Javier administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to her at St. John's Well Child & Family Center in Los Angeles in January. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The U.S. has administered 80,540,474 COVID-19 doses as of Wednesday, CDC data shows.

Why it matters: That's 75% of the 107,028,890 doses delivered. It means some 1.9 million more doses have been reported administered since Tuesday, taking the seven-day average to over 2 million a day for the first time, CNN notes. Nearly 53 million people, or 16% of the U.S. population, have had at least one COVID shot and almost 27 million have had two, per the CDC.

Go deeper... Biden: U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300M by end of May

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