Just over half the adults in North Dakota have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while less than 49% have up-to-date coverage.

In Williams County, however, less than a third of adults have gotten at least one dose, and about 29% have up-to-date coverage. For those 65 and older, the vaccine rates are far higher, with 65% getting at least one dose and nearly 63% with up-to-date coverage.

In McKenzie County, vaccination rates are following a similar pattern. For those 65 and older, 66% have gotten at least one shot and 64% have up-to-date coverage. For all adults, though, 32% have gotten at least one shot and 30% have up-to-date coverage.

North Dakota’s partnership with a Canadian province has helped get essential workers vaccinated and as of Wednesday, July 7, had given out 2,500 doses to Manitobans.

“Thanks to the generosity of our southern neighbors in North Dakota, we’ve been able to boost Manitoba’s vaccination efforts and protect truck drivers who are working tirelessly through the pandemic to deliver essential goods and services to Manitobans and across the border,” Premier Brian Pallister said. “Based on demand from Manitobans passing through North Dakota on their delivery routes, the successful partnership is extended through July and this strong cross-border cooperation will continue to benefit both our communities and our economies.”

Announced in April, the Essential Worker Cross-Border Vaccination Initiative has coordinated the opportunity for Manitoba-based truck drivers transporting goods to and from the United States to schedule immunization appointments on routine trips. The first clinic opened April 21 at a northbound rest area on Interstate 29 near Drayton. To date, 2,523 doses have been administered to Manitoba truck drivers in North Dakota, with 1,719 receiving a first dose and 804 receiving a second dose. Pallister noted the Manitoba Trucking Association and its members have helped the province identify and coordinate to recruit eligible individuals.

Gov. Doug Burgum praised the partnership.

“The success of this first-of-its-kind program between North Dakota and Manitoba is a testament to our strong commitment to protecting public health and providing safe, effective vaccines to those essential workers who transport goods and services across our border,” Burgum said. “By extending the program through July, we can continue to protect the health of our citizens and our economies as we move closer to the reopening of our shared border.”

The state and province established a joint operations group to manage the initiative, with the North Dakota Department of Health providing nurses and other staff to administer first and second doses. There is no cost to the state or province as the U.S. government supplies the vaccine and reimburses the costs to administer.

The North Dakota Department of Health has extended the Drayton pop-up vaccination clinic through the month of July to accommodate Canadian traffic. The department noted an average of 45 to 50 Canadians are vaccinated each day at that site. It has also arranged a weekend pop-up site at the GasTrak off I-29 in Pembina.

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