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Parents: New COVID booster for kids 5 and older available in MN

Sites at Mall of America, Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Paul are ready to take your appointments.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Parents can now schedule appointments for children ages 5-11 to receive a bivalent COVID-19 booster shot at state-run vaccination sites.

Both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines were recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Vaccination will start this week at the state-run sites at Mall of America, Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Paul. 

"Having the updated bivalent booster available for children between ages 5 and 11 means we have another opportunity to protect this younger age group. The updated COVID-19 booster has been specifically formulated to protect against the original COVID-19 strain and the newer Omicron variants that have been making children and adults sick in recent months," said Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a news release from the governor's office.

Pfizer's bivalent booster is available for people 5 and older.

The Moderna bivalent vaccine is for people 6 and older.

Officials say the bivalent boosters can be given as soon as two months "after a primary vaccine series or booster vaccination."

The younger children get a smaller dose than the kids over the age of 12.

Officials say bivalent vaccines are only recommended for use as a booster.

"These boosters will continue to be free for all Minnesotans at both state and private sites, regardless of insurance status," according to the news release.

The bivalent boosters can also be found throughout the state at local pharmacies, health care agencies and providers.

"We're glad this younger age group can now benefit from the added protection of this updated booster to fight COVID-19," said Governor Walz in the release. "Making sure our kids are vaccinated can help them safely enjoy the school year, spend time with friends and family, and participate in all of the fun fall and winter activities our state has to offer."

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