Mighty Blog

Information about high-risk kids (ages 16+) and the COVID-19 vaccine

In March 2021, Governor Tim Walz announced that the Minnesota COVID-19 vaccine supply is slowly increasing. This means, teenagers aged 16 years and older, who also have certain high-risk conditions (such as Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, etc.) are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Can my child be vaccinated at Children’s Minnesota?

Eligibility

If your child has one of the high-risk conditions making them now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and has been a patient at Children’s Minnesota, you will receive a call from us. We ask that families do not reach out to us to ask if their child can get vaccinated as we have to follow the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and rules for vaccine distribution. You will be contacted by us if your child is eligible.

Distribution

Our vaccine supply remains very limited and Children’s Minnesota receives small quantities of the COVID-19 vaccine periodically that can only be given to groups designated by the state. Children’s Minnesota will be reaching out to our highest-risk patients in a fair manner and in accordance with the Governor’s guidance as posted on the MDH website. See which high-risk conditions are first here.

Quantities

We will not have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to vaccinate everyone right away. Please do not call your clinic to request a vaccine as we do not have the supply at this time.

We estimate vaccine supply will increase by later spring 2021 so that anyone 16 and over will be able to get it through their clinic. We will inform our patients and families when our supply increases for everyone.  Thank you for your patience.

Is the vaccine safe for my child?

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe. It is also 100 percent effective in keeping your child out of the hospital if they get a COVID-19 infection and also 100 percent effective in preventing them from dying of COVID-19.

More about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • There are no conditions that children have that would prevent them from receiving the vaccine. Those kids who are especially at risk (e.g. kids with immune deficiencies, oxygen dependent, heart/lung problems and other rare diseases) are especially at risk and are encouraged to be vaccinated.
    • Although extremely rare, an anaphylactic reaction to a prior COVID-19 vaccine is the only reason someone cannot receive the vaccine.
  • Common side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are similar to other vaccines, such as arm soreness, possible fever, fatigue or body aches that generally last a day. These are actually your immune response building the protections to fight the virus in the future.
  • At Children’s Minnesota, over 80 percent of our staff are already vaccinated.

Resources helpful when choosing to vaccinate your teen

Alexandra Rothstein