Minnesota is ready to start vaccinating kids ages 12-15 following the FDA's emergency approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people that young.
That's according to Gov. Tim Walz, who on Monday said the state will announce when it expects parents can make appointments for their kids after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues its final federal guidance.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets Wednesday, with the guidance expected to come after that. So parents could be able to start making appointments for their kids later this week.
“This is an extraordinary development on our path back to normalcy — we now have nearly 300,000 more Minnesotans eligible to roll up their sleeves and get life-saving protection from this deadly disease,” Gov. Walz said in a statement. “We have been planning and preparing for this moment and are ready to begin vaccinating teens 12 and older.
"Start making your plan, Minnesota — let’s get our kids their shot as soon as possible so they are fully vaccinated and protected in time for a fun, safe summer," Walz added.
Once the CDC's immunization guidance is issued, Walz says Minnesotans ages 12-15 should be able to get vaccinated at locations where the Pfizer vaccines are available. A parent or guardian consent is required for COVID-19 vaccination for anyone younger than 18 years old.
“The Pfizer vaccine has gone through rigorous clinical trials on children in this age group and has proven to be a highly safe and effective preventative measure against the deadly coronavirus,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a statement. “Minnesota parents can feel confident in the science, medical experts, and federal guidelines expanding authorization to 12-to-15-year-olds, and I hope they get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.
"Every person who gets vaccinated helps us slow the spread of this disease and protect those who cannot get vaccinated," she added.
How to get the vaccine
There are several ways to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- You can sign up directly for an appointment at one of the state's Community Vaccination Program locations here.
- Walk-in appointments for Minnesotans 12 and older will be accepted at the community vaccination sites that are administering the Pfizer vaccine. They are: Bloomington (Mall of America), St. Paul (Roy Wilkins Auditorium), Lino Lakes and Oakdale.
- You can use the vaccine locator map to search for providers offering the COVID-19 vaccine here.
- You can also find COVID-19 vaccine appointments via vaccines.gov or contact your health care provider, local public health department or local pharmacy.