This week on the Minnesota Native News Health Report… state leaders announce plans to start vaccinating 5 to 11 year olds as soon as early November. Minnesota’s health commissioner details why this is such an important step in the pandemic. Here’s reporter Cole Premo.
State leaders, including health commissioner Jan Malcolm, recently unveiled plans to vaccinate 5 to 11 year olds.
It comes after the US Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend the use of Pfizer’s vaccine in the age group. The official green light to start vaccinating the youngest age group so far could come in the first week of November.
In order to prepare for the new vaccination push, state officials say they built a network of 1,100 providers, including health care systems, pharmacies, clinics, local public and tribal health agencies and state-run community clinics.
Also, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says schools will be involved. Here she is.
Malcolm: “In order to ensure equitable access to the vaccine… the administration has partnered with schools and charter schools to get kids vaccinated at or near schools.”
Jan Malcolm says the upcoming ability to vaccinate 5 to 11 year olds is an important step in the pandemic.
MALCOLM: “It comes at a crucial moment. We are definitely seeing a high transmission rate…and very high levels of health care pressure. Since Jan. 1, there have been more than 45,000 pediatric cases and more than 300 child hospitalizations for COVID-19 just in our state. As of yesterday (Oct. 26), all but 17 pediatric ICU beds in the state were full, occupied by children not only with COVID-19, but otherwise with grave illnesses.”
Malcolm says COVID-19 can also have long-term consequences, and thousands of children in the country have been diagnosed with COVID-19-linked multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Almost 100 cases have been discovered in Minnesota. Some of these children need intensive care treatment.
MALCOLM: “Getting your child vaccinated gives you reassurance that your child is protected.. Getting your child vaccinated also protects your family members and neighbors.. And they can focus on being kids again.”
The network of providers in Minnesota cannot vaccinate 5 to 11 year olds until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given its final approval. Once that happens, families are advised to check with their pediatricians or family medicine clinic about appointments. They can also visit mn.gov/vaccine to use the vaccine locator map.
Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 community coordinators will also host clinics offering vaccines to the whole family.
In other news, the health department is now offering even more COVID-19 rapid tests for people who are showing symptoms.
The free tests are being done at sites in St. Paul, Crookston, Hutchinson, Moorhead and Stillwater, along with Brooklyn Park, Duluth, Inver Grove Heights, Wadena and Hibbing.
Gov. Tim Walz launched the new sites to meet increasing demand due to the Delta variant.
All of the locations are free and you get results within a few hours after the nasal swab.
More from MN Native News
- An Update on Minnesota’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) Task Force InitiativeLast year, both state and federal officials announced initiatives to help uncover missing and murdered relatives. Here’s reporter Feven Gerezgiher with the update from State Senator Mary Kunesh-Podein
- Remembering NeeGawNwayWeeDun, Clyde Bellecourt (1938-2022), Co-Founder of AIMLong-time civil rights advocate Clyde Bellecourt of the White Earth band of Ojibwe died January 11th, leaving behind a legacy of Native changemakers. Reporter Feven Gerezgiher digs into the archives for a look into history.
- New Year, New COVID ClarityAs we enter the new year 2022, we also enter the time of new COVID Variants and guidelines. Reporter Emma Needham caught up with Dr. Antony Stately to get a little clarity as we enter year three of the COVID 19 Pandemic. The new year brought the new Omicron COVID 19 Variant and new CDC …
- New Alliance for Native ArtsA new alliance for Native arts addresses community needs in Minnesota. And, the Interior Department will collaborate with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
- Indigenous BowlThis week on Minnesota Native News, the Minnesota Vikings recently hosted the 2021 Indigenous Bowl. Two all Indigenous football teams competed in front of friends and family. On Sunday, December 5th, the Minnesota Vikings partnered with the 7G foundation to host the 2021 Annual Indigenous Bowl. This was the fourth year of the Indigenous Bowl, …