The rollout of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children 5-11 has begun with numerous sites in Minnesota gearing up to administer doses.
About 500,000 children in that age group can now receive their shot, which will include a smaller needle and smaller vaccine dose than what was given to those 12 and older. The pediatric vaccine vials will have an orange cap.
Except in rare cases, consent from a parent or guardian is required for COVID-19 vaccination for those 5-17. And in some cases, the parent or guardian must be present at the vaccination appointment. Check ahead of time.
Like those who are older, children will need two doses about three weeks apart for the best protection against the coronavirus.
Clinical trials showed that the Pfizer vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds was 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 disease.
The trials for children had no reports of rare side effects, including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), pericarditis (inflammation of the lining outside the heart), or anaphylaxis (an allergic reaction).
In clinical trials, children suffered common, mild side effects less often than those 16-25. Side effects could include pain, redness or swelling where the vaccine was injected, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever or nausea that go away in a few days.
More than 1,100 Minnesota providers, including pediatricians, pharmacies, local public health agencies and schools, will be able to provide vaccines to children.
- To get a list of vaccine sites throughout the state, go to the Minnesota Department of Health website. The search can be narrowed by ZIP code.
- The community vaccine site at the Mall of America in Bloomington will administer vaccines from 1-8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Parents can schedule appointments online. For more information, call 855-612-0677.
- Health providers offering vaccines to youngsters include: HealthPartners/Park Nicollet, Essentia Health, M Health Fairview, Mayo Clinic, Hennepin HealthCare System and Sanford Health.
- Thrifty White pharmacies likely will begin administering vaccines to younger children beginning next week. Appointments need to be made online.
- Select CVS pharmacies will begin scheduling appointments for Sunday. For more information, go online to its website.
- Until supply increases, only some Hy-Vee pharmacies will be able to provide vaccines to young children. Go to its website to get updates and schedule an appointment.
- Walgreens will begin administering doses at select stores beginning Saturday. Go to its website to schedule an appointment.