Following CDC approval, clinics start rollout of COVID-19 booster shots for kids

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Minnesota pharmacies and clinics are beginning to roll out COVID-19 booster shots for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the shots late Thursday.

RELATED: CDC committee approves recommending Pfizer COVID-19 booster for children ages 5 to 11

“We’ve been waiting with bated breath,” said Brian Harrison, a father of 9-year-old twins in St. Paul.

His daughter and son received their first two doses of the vaccine months ago.

With another surge of COVID-19 happening in Minnesota, Harrison hoped boosters would become available for children.

His son tested positive for the virus just a few days before the CDC’s decision to authorize the shots.

While his son is now doing OK, Harrison said it shows the importance of having that extra protection for your kids.

“I think, like anything, when it hits you at home, things sort of take a different flavor. So having a booster available for our other twin, who luckily hasn’t gotten COVID over the last week despite my son having it, we were ecstatic,” Harrison said. “We view it sort of as another tool to use in keeping our kids safe. In so many domains of parenting, you just can’t control what happens to your kids, but this is one of the rare instances where you really can have a direct effect on the health and safety of your kids.”

The booster doses are becoming available at hospitals, clinics and pharmacies, including at Hy-Vee stores.

“Some opened up today. Most of them begin next week,” Hy-Vee Assistant Vice President of Communications Christina Gayman said.

Gayman said the pediatric vaccinations will be by appointment only.

The Hy-Vee stores in Plymouth, Savage and Oakdale are designated as pediatric hubs for administering COVID-19 vaccines, meaning at select times they will only offer shots for children.

“This age group is a lot more scared of shots normally, so we wanted to make sure it was kid-friendly,” Gayman said. “We try to make it fun for them. We have stickers, we have coloring packs, we have all kinds of things. We also offer free cookies in our bakery.”

Pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster appointments can be scheduled online.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS also asked CUB when booster shots for those in the 5 to 11 age group would be available. Aaron Sapp, senior director of pharmacy at CUB, provided this statement:

“With the CDC signing off on COVID-19 boosters for children 5- to 11-years-old yesterday, Cub pharmacies throughout Minnesota will order additional supplies to handle the expected demand. While we anticipate these doses will arrive later next week, appointment time slots will be made available as soon as product arrives. Customers should visit for updates as they are available.”

Children ages 5 to 11 can receive a booster shot at least five months after their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised pediatric patients may receive a booster dose sooner, at least three months after their second dose.

To find a vaccine for your child, click here.