Gov. Tim Waltz said Wednesday that the state has a strong network of healthcare providers and other organizations willing to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 after the final federal guidelines are released next week.
An FDA advisory group on Tuesday voted in favor of Pfizer’s low dose of vaccine for children. The FDA is not bound by the panel’s recommendations and is expected to make its own decision within days. If the FDA agrees to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have to decide whether to recommend the shots and which young people should receive them.
Waltz said there are more than 1,100 providers in Minnesota, including pediatricians, pharmacies, community clinics, schools and health care facilities, who are willing to administer the vaccine.
“The state is ready for this critical moment in the fight against COVID-19. Our goal is to ensure wide, equitable and effective vaccine availability for all children between the ages of 5 and 11. We will be ready to do our part when the federal government gives us the green light and I urge parents to vaccinate their children when vaccinations are ready, ”Waltz said in a statement.
Children are not immune to the serious consequences of COVID-19, health officials said, and common underlying illnesses such as asthma and obesity could put children at even greater risk of serious illness.
Since July 1, Minnesota has reported over 45,200 pediatric cases and over 300 pediatric hospitalizations related to COVID-19.