COVID-19 shots begin to go into the arms (and legs) of the smallest Minnesota residents
COVID-19 shots begin to go into the arms (and legs) of the smallest Minnesota residents

COVID-19 shots begin to go into the arms (and legs) of the smallest Minnesota residents

After a long wait through a school year and omicron’s latest wave, parents are now able to bring their youngest children with them to get COVID-19 vaccinations in the Mall of America.

In the weekendThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the two-dose course Moderna vaccine and the three-dose course Pfizer vaccine for children between 6 months and 5 years of age.

The decision could not come quickly enough for Deondre Ham, who said he and his wife were recently on a cruise and could not bring their youngest, the now 7-month-old Jaeden, because he could not be vaccinated.

“Being able to get Pfizer vaccines in as early as 6 months is great for us because we can move around without our child feeling insecure,” Ham said.

At first when the shot comes, there are some tears.

Deondre Ham holds 7-month-old Jaeden before the baby receives the first dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination at the Mall of America as Brother Bryan helps.

Kerem Yücel | MPR News

After his shot, 4-year-old big brother Bryan chooses a sticker. He leans over and whispers to Jaeden, “It’s going to be okay.”

The state-run COVID-19 vaccination site, suitable for the mega-mall, is a huge space, decorated with bright colors, balloons and pictures of popular characters like SpongeBob SquarePants and Baby Yoda.

Nurse Denise Buckner said the toys, colorful bandages and stickers are there to make the process easier for children. In her opinion, children between 6 months and 5 years are usually a little calmer during the shot.

syringes are seen

Syringes containing COVID-19 doses for 6-month-old to 4-year-olds await use at the Mall of America vaccination site.

Kerem Yücel | MPR News

“I think they’re lap-sitters, so that makes them a little soft just because you’re with your parents,” Buckner said. “And then older kids, they just know what’s going on. So that just makes it a little bit difficult.”

While several parents said they were happy to go on vacation or send their children to camp without worrying so much about the virus, others are just happy that daily life is getting easier.

Margaret Richter said it was stressful to have her 4-year-old son, Colin, in kindergarten while he was unable to get vaccinated.

A child receives Covid-19 vaccination

Colin Richter, 4, receives the first dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination.

Kerem Yücel | MPR News

“He actually got COVID-19 from his kindergarten,” Richter said. “It was back in January. And then we all got it. So yeah, I feel like we’ve been waiting a long time. And we’re really happy for everyone to be vaccinated now.”

After Colin got his shot, he grabbed three stickers and set off with his parents to get sugar salt.

The Mall of America vaccination clinic is open Wednesday through Friday from 6 p.m. 13:00 to 20:00 and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are required and may. made online.

In addition, the state Department of Health says vaccine doses for children in this age group are being made available to some providers, minute clinics and pharmacies across the state.

Stickers and bandaids

Stickers and bandaids to give to children after vaccinations.

Kerem Yücel | MPR News

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