Press Releases

Children’s Minnesota hosts MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm to commemorate first year of COVID-19 vaccine

Children’s Minnesota was honored to host Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcom, MDH Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann and other health care leaders as part of the state’s Celebrate Safely campaign. The event also marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses being administered in the state. Commissioner Malcolm thanked Minnesota health care providers and partners who have worked tirelessly to vaccinate Minnesotans against COVID-19.

Watch a highlight of the event

Information from the event

Throughout the first year of COVID-19 vaccination, over 8.3 million total vaccine doses have been administered resulting in more than 66% of Minnesotans 5 and older completing their vaccination series so far. Efforts by providers and other partners have made Minnesota a consistent leader in vaccinations in nearly every metric in the Midwest over the past year.

According to the CDC, Minnesota leads in the Midwest in the percentage of total population fully vaccinated and the percentage of people age 18 and older that are fully vaccinated.

Minnesota is second in the country for total population with a booster dose, and leads the nation in the 65-and-older population with a booster dose.

Nearly 30% of children 5 to 11 years old have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose since becoming eligible last month, making Minnesota a leader in the Midwest and the nation for vaccinating that age group.

Among Children’s Minnesota’s nearly fifty thousand established patients ages 5 to 11, 31% of them have had at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Children’s Minnesota has fully vaccinated thousands of kids in all age groups since June 1, 2021.

“We want to thank all of the providers and partners who have helped us efficiently and equitably make sure Minnesotans can get their COVID-19 vaccine – we would not be able to do this without you,” said Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “We also recognize that this pandemic is not over. Today our partners reminded us of how critical it is for people to get vaccinated, get boosted, and use other known prevention strategies to slow the spread and prevent further hospitalizations and deaths from this virus.”

Commissioner Malcolm was joined by a group of providers and partners representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, local public health, and community partners including Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and CEO at Children’s Minnesota, and Dr. Gigi Chawla, vice president and chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota. Together, the providers shared their personal testimony serving on the frontlines this past year and made an urgent plea for Minnesotans to do their part to help relieve the health care systems across our state.

“We’ve come a long way in a year from vaccinating health care workers, to adults, to now doing what we do best in pediatrics, vaccinating and protecting kids. We have collaborated across previous silos of health systems, public health, schools and private sectors to support COVID vaccinations,” Dr. Chawla said. “But, there is much more work to be done. As the kid experts, Children’s Minnesota urges everyone to remain vigilant against COVID-19 and, if eligible, get vaccinated.”

The “Celebrate Safely, Minnesota” campaign, is a coordinated, statewide effort to help Minnesotans access the resources they need to celebrate as safely as they can this holiday season. In addition to testing and vaccine events, the campaign will provide Minnesotans with information as to where they can get their test, vaccine, or booster and promote why each step is critical to help prevent the spread of COVID-19—especially amidst the presence of the Delta variant and uncertainties surrounding the Omicron variant.

How families can find a shot for their child:

  • Visit to find clinic locations near you.
  • Check with their pediatrician, family medicine clinic, or local pharmacy about appointments.
  • Watch for vaccination clinics being offered at schools or other community locations around Minnesota.

How Minnesotans can get their free shot:

  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you.
  • Check for vaccine appointments at, where you can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
  • Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Walk in to or make an appointment at one of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination sites.
  • Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 public hotline: 1-833-431-2053, Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. & Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:

  • Walk in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s free community testing sites across Minnesota: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites.
  • Order a test through the state’s free at-home COVID-19 testing program.
  • Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map: Find Testing Locations.


Cole Heath