Minnesota ready to administer COVID shots to young kids
If all the federal hurdles are cleared, the first kid-sized doses could arrive in Minnesota next week. If they do, doctors, clinics, pharmacies and at least one community site will be ready to
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is ready to distribute coronavirus vaccine to young children as soon as they become eligible, Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday.
The Food and Drug Administration recommended on Wednesday the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children as young as six months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to OK the move and that could happen as soon as this weekend.
If all the federal hurdles are cleared, the first kid-sized doses could arrive in Minnesota next week. If they do, doctors, clinics, pharmacies and at least one community site will be ready to administer them.
“This is a landmark moment in Minnesota’s fight against the pandemic,” Walz said in a statement. “Many families have long waited for their children to get a COVID-19 shot to help prevent severe illness and keep children in the classroom and activities.”
Details on vaccine availability and the rest of the state’s coronavirus response can be found at mn.gov/covid19 or by calling 1-833-431-2053.
About 320 different vaccine providers will administer the shots to kids under 5 years old to as young as six months, and about 268 of them will be ready the first week they receive the kid-sized shots. Another 44 Minute Clinics and 50 pharmacies will also offer shots to young children, but not all will administer them to kids under 3.
The Mall of America community vaccination site will be ready to administer shots as soon as they arrive. Appointments will initially be required and registration should begin June 20. Other community sites will also offer the shots and the state plans other clinics to expand access.
“Our littlest children deserve protection from COVID-19, and I’m so glad they will finally get it,” said Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Now is the time to make a plan to get your kid vaccinated. Reach out to the doctors and providers you trust to ask questions.”
About 71 percent of the currently eligible Minnesota population, ages 5 and up, have completed their initial doses of vaccine. But fewer than half of those who have been initially vaccinated are up-to-date on their recommended boosters.
Vaccines continue to protect against severe illness and death even as variants of the virus infect more people who are vaccinated. Protection from vaccines wanes after about five months and boosters are recommended for everyone 5 and older.