Gov Walz Announces Plan to Vaccinate 5-11 Year Olds in Minnesota
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Today, Governor Tim Walz announced Minnesota’s plan to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee voted to recommend the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children 5-11 years old.
“Every 5-11-year-old in Minnesota deserves the protection the COVID-19 vaccine has to offer,” said Governor Walz. “The state is prepared for this critical moment in the battle against COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure that the vaccine is widely, equitably, and efficiently available to all children ages 5-11. We’ll be ready to do our part when the federal government gives us the green light, and I encourage parents to get their children vaccinated when the shots are ready.”
The governor’s office says the state of Minnesota has built a strong network of providers that can begin vaccinating eligible children once final eligibility recommendations are issued by the federal government next week.
The state is waiting on the FDA’s official authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for use in this age group, as well as recommendations from CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), to provide the authorization for doctors and other health care providers need before they start vaccinating. ACIP is expected to meet on this matter from November 2-3.
“These vaccines have been shown to be safe and highly effective, and they are our best tools for protecting Minnesotans from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “The evidence shows COVID-19 can be severe and have long-lasting health impacts – sometimes even among young and healthy people. Getting your children vaccinated helps them stay safe during school, sports, and other social activities. Plan ahead, talk to your family physician, and once your child is eligible, find a vaccine opportunity near you to get your child protected.”
How families can find a shot for their child once they are eligible:
Minnesota providers cannot begin vaccinating children until the CDC issues final recommendations, which could come later next week.
Once CDC has approved the vaccine for 5-11 and your child is eligible, Minnesota families can:
- Check with their pediatrician or family medicine clinic about appointments;
- Visit mn.gov/vaccine to use the Vaccine Locator Map to locate and contact providers near them;
- Utilize the CDC’s Vaccine Finder at vaccines.gov to find pharmacies offering pediatric vaccinations; or
- Look to your local school district for more information about vaccination opportunities in your child’s school.
How currently eligible Minnesotans can get their free shot:
- Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you.
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline
- Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Check for vaccine appointments using the Vaccine Finder. You can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
- Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:
- Walk in or schedule an appointment for a free rapid or saliva test at one of the state’s no-cost community testing sites across Minnesota.
- Order a free saliva test through the state’s no-cost at-home COVID-19 testing program.
- Find a testing option, including through local providers, pharmacies, and clinics, near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map.