Statement on COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization
On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval and authorization of updated COVID-19 vaccines formulated to more closely target the COVID-19 variants circulating nationally. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued formal vaccine recommendations.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Brooke Cunningham released the following statement:
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 remains one of the best tools in our toolbox to fight COVID-19 and keep Minnesotans safe. The newly authorized, updated vaccines are an even more effective tool, targeting the variants we know are in our communities right now. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made recommendations on the updated vaccines, and the CDC has reviewed those recommendations. Following these recommendations, eligible Minnesotans should contact their doctors or local pharmacists to schedule an appointment. I would also encourage Minnesotans to make sure their entire family is up to date on their vaccinations so they are well-protected heading into this fall and winter.
The end of the federal public health emergency last spring brought us into a new phase of our response to COVID-19 and means fewer public resources are available nationally and in Minnesota. We will continue to use those resources to ensure that we provide those at high risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes as much assistance in protecting themselves as possible and that we address continuing disparities in COVID-related health outcomes for vulnerable populations.”
These new vaccines are approved by the FDA for all people 6 months of age or older.
- People 5 years of age and older regardless of previous vaccination are eligible to receive a single dose of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months since the last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.
- People 6 months through 4 years of age who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 are eligible to receive one or two doses of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (timing and number of doses to administer depends on the previous COVID-19 vaccine received).
- Unvaccinated people 6 months through 4 years of age are eligible to receive three doses of the updated authorized Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or two doses of the updated authorized Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
These are the first COVID-19 vaccines to be commercialized, which means that there may be costs associated with receiving them. Speak with your health insurer about your coverage before scheduling an appointment in order to avoid a surprise bill. For those without health insurance, consider reaching out to one of the following for free or low-cost vaccine options:
- Contact the nearest Community Health Center (CHC) near you. Find locations at Minnesota Health Centers: Find a Health Center.
- Call the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) COVID-19 public hotline at 1-833-431-2053 Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. to locate a community vaccination event near you.
- Visit Vaccines.gov to find other locations offering COVID-19 vaccines at no cost to the uninsured, including pharmacies.
- Most clinics that provide medical services to children in Minnesota participate in the Minnesota Vaccines for Children (MnVFC) program. Simply ask your clinic about getting free or low-cost vaccines for your child.
- If your child does not have insurance or has insurance that does not cover vaccines, we recommend using the MDH Vaccination Clinic Web Map to find clinics that offer low-cost shots.
In addition to staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, MDH recommends that people test for COVID-19 when they have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or 5 full days after a known exposure to someone with COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive, stay home and isolate from others as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus on to others around you. For information on COVID-19 testing see: COVID-19 Testing.
For more information, contact: