Minnesota sites now offering boosters for kids 5 and older

Minnesotans can now schedule COVID-19 bivalent booster shot appointments for kids as young as 5 years old.

Gov. Tim Walz’s office announced Monday the state-run sites at Mall of America, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, St. Paul Midway, Mayo Civic Center in Rochester and Thomas Edison Elementary School in Moorhead have expanded eligibility to children following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new recommendations. While appointments are recommended, walk-ins will be accepted.

RELATED: US clears updated COVID boosters for kids as young as 5

The bivalent boosters are updated to offer greater protection against the newer omicron variants of COVID-19.

“We’re glad this younger age group can now benefit from the added protection of this updated booster to fight COVID-19,” Walz said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm added. “The bivalent boosters were shown to be safe, and they produce antibodies against Omicron, so they will be a crucial tool for protecting our state in the months ahead. Now is a good time to make sure you and your children ages 5 and older are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines and any other vaccines you need, like the annual flu shot.”

The boosters remain free for all Minnesotans, regardless of insurance status.

CLICK HERE to find a vaccine provider near you or find vaccine appointments by vaccine type here.

COVID-19 tests are also still being offered for walk-ins or those with an appointment at the state’s community testing sites.

Minnesotans with questions about COVID-19 can call the state’s public hotline at 1-833-431-2053.