State and federal leaders discuss vaccines for kids at Mayo Clinic

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and state senator Amy Klobuchar visited Mayo Clinic today with local leaders and other officials to encourage kids to start rolling up their sleeves.

One child got his vaccine today as state leaders watched.

"It was fun and it was cool to meet everybody," vaccine recipient Elliot Su said.

Elliot is an eleven-year-old who got his vaccine in front of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz himself. He tells ABC 6 News he was nervous to get the vaccine, but he’s glad he got it.

"It feels good, I’m protected so I can play sports and hang out with friends now and go to school and now I feel like I’m safe," Elliot Su said.

Elliot’s dad, Andrew Su, tells ABC 6 News Elliot had to stay home from school for a few weeks because he came in close contact with someone else who had COVID-19.

Andrew Su got his booster shot, and now that his son is vaccinated, he says, this is a step towards living a normal life again.

"We’re very grateful to Mayo and the Federal Government," Andrew Su said.

Governor Walz says this pediatric clinic is one of 1,100 sites throughout the state prepared to give kids their vaccine.

"Our children look to us to protect them with the science and the vaccines that we have to make sure that they not only stay safe, but they also avoid long-term implications from COVID," Gov. Walz said.

Governor Walz says as Minnesota battles the delta variant surge, getting kids vaccinated is a way to flatten the curve.

"Vaccinating our five to eleven-year-olds lets kids be kids." Gov. Walz said.

Sen. Klobuchar echoes the same message as the governor.

"Parents should be looking at this as a lifesaver for their kids, and think of it with that type of pride in our American ingenuity," Sen. Klobuchar said.

Secretary Becerra agrees with his collegues.

"We want to do this with you because we want to gain your trust. But more importantly, we want to see your children be able to hug their grandparents," Sec. Becerra said.

But not everyone here in the state wants to get their kid vaccinated.

"She’s not in a high-risk category. She’s a healthy young girl, I just worry about the adverse reaction and effects long term, I don’t necessarily think that they’re short-term effects we have to worry about," Shakopee resident, Mike Enright said.

Enright says what he wants to see from all of this, is to have the vaccine be voluntary.

"I don’t think it should be mandatory, especially for kids," Enright said.

According to a Gallup Poll, 55 percent of parents plan to get their children vaccinated.

Secretary Becerra estimates more than 25,000 pediatric offices across the country will make vaccines available and there will be enough supply to vaccinate 28 million children.