Governor Walz secured new source of at-home COVID-19 rapid tests for schools and childcare providers to distribute directly to Minnesota families; State will begin offering booster shots at school vaccination clinics so parents can get boosters when their kids get their shots
[ST. PAUL, MN] — Today, Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota is taking action to offer even more COVID-19 at-home rapid tests and booster shots to Minnesota families. Governor Walz has secured an additional one million over-the-counter BD Veritor At-Home rapid test kits for schools and child care providers to distribute directly to Minnesota families. BD Veritor At-Home is the sixth overall test – and second rapid test – the state has made accessible to schools and families. The test is an individual rapid antigen test, and Minnesota expects to receive all one million tests before the end of the year.
Beginning as early as December 6, Minnesota will also offer boosters at multiple state-run and state-hosted 5- to 11-year-old vaccine clinics, including those hosted at schools. Roughly 35 state school-based vaccination clinics for ages 5-11 will begin offering booster shots to parents of children receiving their first or second dose in December and the first week of January. Additional 5-11 vaccine clinics will begin offering boosters as planning continues.
“Today we’re taking another step to meet people where they are and make COVID-19 vaccinations and testing options as convenient as possible for Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “Minnesota is a national leader in testing for COVID-19 and administering booster doses, and today’s announcement will provide even more resources for those who need them. I strongly urge every Minnesotan to get vaccinated, get boosted, and get tested to stay safe this holiday season.”
“We know families are working hard to navigate this pandemic, and we’re working hard to make it as easy as possible to get the whole family protected in one stop,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “We are also striving to give families as many free at-home testing options as possible, and the new over-the-counter tests for schools and child care gives parents yet another option to help keep their kids safe. Now’s the time to take action, get tested, and get everyone their shots to be protected for holiday gatherings.”
“Making it easier for families to get at-home rapid tests and boosters is important any time, but it is even more valuable now with the arrival of the Omicron variant,” said Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “By expanding access to boosters and providing another testing option for schools and child care providers, we are offering Minnesota families even more tools to protect themselves and their children from COVID-19 in all its forms. We encourage all Minnesotans to get the shot as soon as possible and get tested as recommended.”
Minnesota is already offering booster doses at the Mall of America Community Vaccination site, including walk-up appointments to visitors and parents of children receiving their vaccine. Last week, in addition to 3,256 vaccine doses administered to children 5- to 11-years-old, more than 800 booster doses were administered at the Mall of America community vaccination site. Minnesota continues to be a national leader in boosters and ranks second in the country for percent of fully vaccinated people with booster doses, trailing only Vermont. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 35% of fully vaccinated Minnesota adults have received boosters, and providers across the state have administered more than 1.1 million booster and third doses.
In line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state is encouraging all adults to get their booster dose as soon as they are due. Boosters will help keep Minnesotans safe as activities move indoors for the winter and holiday celebrations. How families can find a shot for their child:
Visit mn.gov/vaxforkids 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 Vaccines.gov , 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
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: COVID-19 Test at Home .
Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map: Find Testing Locations.