Olmsted County Public Health has released a new video to answer questions related to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds.

In the video recorded Monday afternoon, Viv Williams from the Post Bulletin moderates a forum featuring Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Amy Evans, Olmsted Medical Center pediatrician Peter Arndt, and Mayo Clinic pediatrician Robert Jacobson.

The three addressed the importance of adding the 5- to 11-year-olds into the county’s vaccinated group.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 29% Olmsted County of children ages 5 through 11 had already received their first dose of the vaccine by Sunday.

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Statewide, 16 percent of Minnesotans in the same age range have started receiving vaccinations.

Some of the specific questions answered by the panelists Monday include:

  • Will my child experience side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine that could interfere with school or sports?
  • Does getting the COVID-19 vaccine mean my child can stop wearing their mask and taking coronavirus precautions?
  • Will the vaccine get approved for children younger than 5?

Getting children vaccinated is a critical step to protect children and adolescents from contracting and spreading the coronavirus, experts say.

“The bottom line is that parents need to remember this is an opportunity for them to give their child protection from harm as well as protecting their loved one from the child bringing the infection home,” Jacobson said. “This is an opportunity for the family to get their family back on track and keep their children in school.”

Parents can find vaccines for their children by contacting their primary care provider or by using the Minnesota Department of Health Vax for Kids webpage.

More about the vaccine also is available through the Olmsted County COVID-19 webpage or from the CDC’s page on COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens.