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State to give COVID booster shots to eligible Minnesotans

To receive a third Pfizer dose you must be 65 or older, age 18 through 64 with underlying conditions, or are at increased risk due to work setting or occupation.

ST PAUL, Minn. — The state of Minnesota is ready to begin providing COVID-19 booster shots for those who meet a list of requirements. 

Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday that after guidance was issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, Minnesotans who meet one of the qualifying criteria below can receive a third dose of Pfizer vaccine, if six months have passed since their last dose.

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster;
  • people aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster;
  • people aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster; and
  • people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting (e.g. frontline medical workers, teachers, and first responders) may receive a booster.

READ: CDC list of medical conditions classified as "high risk."

“Our administration will always prioritize the health and safety of Minnesotans — and right now that means getting our highest risk Minnesotans booster doses to keep their protection strong against the COVID-19 virus,” said Walz in a written statement. “We have enough vaccine to administer first, second, and booster doses — and I urge every eligible Minnesotan to take advantage of these easy, safe, and free opportunities to keep yourself best protected against this deadly virus.”

Walz says Pfizer booster doses will be administered anywhere that particular vaccine is available, adding that residents do not need to get their booster dose at the same location they received their initial COVID series. Those seeking a booster shot can visit a special MDH web page to find a provider near them and schedule an appointment, or locate a walk-in clinic.

READ: CDC approves COVID boosters - Here's where to get them

"The booster dose of Pfizer helps extend a high level of protection for Pfizer vaccine recipients who are at greater risk of illness – older people, and those at higher risk because of their underlying health conditions or their workplace," explained State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. "It’s important to remember that people who are fully vaccinated continue to have good protection against severe illness and hospitalization, even once it starts to decline. Also, a booster given too early may not be as effective, so it is important to follow that guidance on timing.”

Federal health authorities are still reviewing data from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, and will decide when people who received either of those vaccines will be eligible for a booster. Walz says Minnesota will be ready to provide Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters as soon as they are recommended.

How Minnesotans can get a free COVID shot: