Skip to main content

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday revealed the state's plan to vaccinate children ages 5-11 against COVID-19 after an FDA advisory committee recommended the use of the Pfizer vaccine in younger kids. 

The governor says the state has a "diverse network" of more than 1,100 providers that will administer the vaccine to kids once it gets the final green light from the FDA and CDC, and it will partner with schools to host vaccination clinics in order to reach people where they are.

“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," Gov. Walz said in a statement. "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 state says 530-plus medical clinics and 600-plus pharmacies statewide will administer vaccines to kids. And the community vaccination program at the Mall of America has tripled its capacity in order to provide 1,500 shots daily to kids 5-11 once the jab is authorized. 

The state will partner with school districts and charter schools to host vaccination clinics in school buildings for kids and their families. Walz says this will help ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, expand access to more kids and meet families where they are. 

Hosting school vaccination clinics are among the "bold" efforts the state teachers union Education Minnesota is calling for in order to get more kids vaccinated and keep kids in school buildings learning. 

Over the next four weeks, Walz says the state will partner with schools to host at least 20 school-based vaccination clinics in "high-need areas" around the state. 

The Minnesota Department of Health's (MDH) COVID-19 Community Coordinators will also host clinics offering shots to kids and families. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

The FDA panel on Tuesday recommended the FDA issue an emergency use authorization for the vaccine for kids ages 5-11 but state health officials are waiting on the FDA's official authorization and the CDC's recommendations before providers can start administering the jabs to that age group. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is expected to meet about this Nov. 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 MDH 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," Malcolm added. 

Pfizer said its lower-dose vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in kids 5-11.

The Pfizer vaccine has already gotten emergency use authorization for kids 12-15, and it has gotten full FDA approval for people 16 and older. Meanwhile, the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are available to people 18 and older.

The number of Minnesotans getting vaccinated against COVID continues to increase, albeit the rate at which people are getting the shot has plummeted since the spring.

In total, more than 3 million Minnesotans, or 70% of people 12 and older, have completed the COVID-19 vaccine series. That includes more than 153,000 kids ages 12-15 and 84,702 kids ages 16-17.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 4.04.09 PM

Armed robbery suspect sought in two south metro investigations

The incidents took place at credit unions in Savage and Apple Valley.

image

Former Twin Cities plastic surgeon charged with sex crimes

Christopher Kovanda is accused of inappropriately touching woman under the guise of providing medical care.

Screen Shot 2022-11-15 at 4.23.26 PM

Minnesota man accused of murder in Chicago is arrested in Alabama

A 26-year-old man from a small town on the Iowa border is accused of murdering a Greyhound bus employee.

DougKeddieShakopeeSchools

Support for Shakopee Public Schools employee diagnosed with cancer

The media specialist has been transitioned to hospice care recently.

snow

Big November snowstorms uncommon in MN, but snowfall is increasing

This week's 8.4 inches at MSP Airport was one of the biggest November storms in the Twin Cities since 1991.

MNASecondStrike

Minnesota nurses take vote on whether to hold second strike

The results will be determined Wednesday night.

unsplash medical marijuana

OCD, irritable bowel syndrome added to MN's medical marijuana list

They are the two latest qualifying medical conditions for Minnesota's marijuana program.

Screen Shot 2022-11-30 at 9.27.45 AM

Fundraiser created for family-owned Cô Tu' Oriental Cuisine after shooting

Support from the community will go towards medical expenses and overhead costs for the restaurant.

Erica Shameka Roberts

Police: Minnesota murder suspect arrested in Texas

Erica Roberts has been on the run since March.

JackknifedSemisI35

Jackknifed semis close I-35 northbound near Faribault

There are icy conditions across Minnesota

court room

Red Lake man gets 12 years for murder of his cousin

Charges state the man beat the victim with a metal cabinet and its drawers.

Related

vaccine, covid

Here's how to book a COVID vaccination for kids ages 5-11

More than 1,100 providers will be offering the vaccine in Minnesota.

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

CDC approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11

Gov. Tim Walz has said more than 1,100 providers in Minnesota are prepared to administer the shots.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Teachers union calls for 'bold' plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID

"All options should be on the table," Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said.

Screen Shot 2021-11-03 at 7.57.26 AM

MN launches vaccine information website for kids ages 5-11

The site includes vaccine appointment help and provides answers to questions parents or guardians might have.

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is effective in kids ages 5-11

The company plans to seek U.S. authorization for the age group soon.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 11

The latest report includes the death of a teenager between the age of 15-19.

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

Pfizer to seek emergency use authorization to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11

Pfizer says clinical trials have revealed positive results.

Screen Shot 2022-02-11 at 11.06.51 AM

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, February 11

The state's test positivity rate continues to plummet this month.