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Local health providers offer COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11

The CDC has approved a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11. Parents can begin scheduling appointments for their children to receive the jab as early as Thursday, Nov. 4.

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COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children aged 5-11 begin Thursday, Nov. 4 at healthcare providers in the Park Rapids area.

According to a press release from Sanford Health, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the vaccine Tuesday following a vote by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This approval allows children aged 5-11 to receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccine than ages 12 and older, with two injections three weeks apart.

A press release from CHI St. Joseph’s Health notes that the authorization is good news for families, as children are not immune to the possible severe effects of COVID-19. From July 1 to Oct. 26, there were more than 45,200 pediatric cases and more than 300 child hospitalizations related to COVID-19 in Minnesota.

According to the CHI release, approximately 25% of COVID pediatric deaths have occurred in otherwise healthy children, and underlying conditions like asthma and obesity can put kids at even greater risk of severe illness. The viral illness can also have long-term consequences, such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome, with almost 100 cases in Minnesota.

The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be 90.7% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in children aged 5-11, the CHI release states. Common, mild side effects were less common in 5- to 11-year-olds in the trial compared to 16- to 25-year-olds.


Information on how parents and guardians can schedule their children for the COVID-19 vaccine, or adults may schedule themselves, is as follows:

  • CHI St. Joseph’s Health Community Health: Register at www.chisjh.org for the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for ages 5-18 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 at the Community Health office, 1415 1st St. E., Park Rapids.

  • Sanford Health: Make an appointment through My Sanford Chart or by calling 877-701-0779. The vaccine will be available at all Sanford primary care and acute care locations at any available time while vaccine allocations last, or during two vaccine clinics from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 10-11 at Sanford’s 1611 Anne St. clinic in Bemidji.

  • Essentia Health: Schedule vaccine appointments via MyChart or by calling 833-494-0836. Appointments are currently available at many Essentia Health clinics locations, and will continue to become available as supplies are allocated. Essentia pharmacies will not have the COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 5-11 at this time.

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