COVID-19 Vaccine

Statewide organizations representing children’s health and education advocates across Minnesota are welcoming Governor Tim Walz’s plan to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to children ages five to 11.

The state of Minnesota put together a network of providers—including pharmacies, health care systems, clinics, local public health and tribal health agencies, and school clinics, and state-run community clinics—that can begin vaccinating eligible children once final eligibility recommendations are issued by the federal government next week.

Health and education leaders have commended Walz for his robust plan to meet Minnesota families where they are, his expansion of COVID-19 vaccine access to more children and families, and his effort to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine.

President of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP said, “The Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MNAAP), representing nearly 1,000 pediatricians around the state, strongly supports this plan and all efforts to get all persons vaccinated against COVID-19.

"It is an exciting prospect that we may soon be able to protect children ages five to 11 against COVID-19 through vaccination. Access and convenience are important when it comes to vaccinations," he continued

"We know that many families will want to have their children vaccinated at their primary care clinic in case they have specific questions and in a place their child already knows," he said "Minnesota's vaccination plan includes a variety of locations and opportunities so that families can have options."

"What is most important is that those who want to get their child immunized are able to do so without barriers. Our pediatricians are always available to answer any questions about this vaccine that parents may have," he said.

 President of Education Minnesota Denise Specht said, “A bold campaign to make the vaccine available to every Minnesota student is the only way our schools will get back to focusing on what’s most important: Preparing every one of our students to pursue their dreams in a diverse, changing Minnesota, no matter what our students look like, where they come from, or where they live.”

President and CEO of Children's Minnesota Marc Gorelick said, '"Kids and families have faced so many challenges during the pandemic which has taken a toll on the mental, emotional and physical health of our community. Once the vaccine is available for kids ages 5 and older, kids will be able to be kids again. Parents will then feel safer with the vaccine protecting their family against severe COVID disease. Children’s Minnesota is grateful for the state's robust vaccination plan that allows families the flexibility to receive the vaccine at a variety of locations, including schools, retail pharmacies, clinics and other vaccination sites. We encourage all families to get their eligible kids vaccinated wherever they can so that we can protect our whole community.”

 Executive Director of the Children's Defense Fund Bharti Wahi said, “Families’ needs are varied and having multiple access points to the COVID-19 vaccination – a robust plan with lots of options for children and families to get vaccinated – will allow families to make the best decision to meet those needs. We appreciate the work of the Administration to engage families and communities for feedback on how to work with trusted community partners like schools, community organizations and businesses as well as health care providers to equitably make vaccines available in settings that support children and families.”

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