Governor Walz announces plan to vaccinate Minnesota children 5-11

[anvplayer video=”5068051″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced his plan to vaccinate children aged five to eleven in the state on Wednesday. The Centers of Disease Control gave final approval to Pfizer’s child dose late Tuesday. Experts at Mayo Clinic are also weighing in on what activities are safe for kids to do once they’re vaccinated. Walz believes this new vaccine rollout will be a game changer for the state.

"It’s exciting listening to parents say the relief they’re feeling. This is all about making sure our kids can be kids that they stay in school, they get to have childhood they get to have the sleepovers," Walz said.

RELATED | COVID-19 vaccinations for younger children begins this week

Over 1,100 sites across the state are ready to administer the shot, and some are on school campuses. Commissioner Jan Malcom said Minnesota providers are ordering as many doses as possible from the federal government. The department has a new website with information specifically for vaccinating younger Minnesotans. The site has functions for finding vaccination clinics and making appointments. The child dose is a third of the size of a normal dose, and will arrive in waves this week.

"You should explain to the child that the pain of the injection will come and go but the benefits are long lasting," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a pediatrician and vaccine researcher at Mayo Clinic.

Experts are recommending parents specific words to encourage their kids during their shot.

"Talking to them about how this is a step of maturity. Saying it’s very grown up of them," Jacobson said.

Research shows that this child dose gives the same amount of antibodies as the adult dose. Kids may experience similar side effects to the vaccine, but nothing severe.

Local parents are relieved.

"We’re really excited about it. I think it’s going to be a return to normal," said mother Patti Price.