To combat COVID-19 surge, booster shots are now available to all adults in MN

USAF / Anna Nolte

Minnesotans 18+ who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago are eligible and encouraged to get a booster shot.

With hospital beds filling up across the state due to a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Governor Tim Walz today announced on Friday that all fully-vaccinated Minnesota adults are now able to get COVID-19 booster shots, following an expansion of eligibility by federal public health officials.

Expanded booster eligibility means more Minnesotans will be able to maximize their protection against COVID-19 during the current surge of cases. Governor Walz and state health officials are encouraging Minnesotans to get their booster dose as soon as they are due in order to be best protected as life moves indoors for the winter and holiday celebrations.

Beginning immediately, all Minnesotans 18 and older who finished their primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago will be recommended and able to get their COVID-19 booster shot. All Minnesotans 18 and older who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are recommended to get a booster shot at least 2 months after their initial vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective, especially at preventing serious illness and death. Evidence is increasingly clear that boosters for all adults, given at the appropriate time after their primary vaccination series, can help extend the protection and keep it at a high level.

Experts have reported that booster shots show increased immunity to COVID-19 as soon as 48 hours of receiving the shot.

“We will always prioritize the safety of Minnesotans—and right now, in the middle of a surge in cases, that means opening up booster doses to all adults,” Governor Walz said. “Cases are rising, community spread is high, and Minnesotans are moving indoors for the winter as the weather gets colder and the holidays approach.

“Health officials and researchers agree that booster shots help increase protection against COVID-19. Now is the time for Minnesota adults to roll up their sleeves and get their booster shot when they’re due,” Gov. Walz said.

“Boosters are an important part of keeping protection against COVID-19 high in adults and helping to mitigate some of the intense COVID-19 spread we are seeing right now, which is extremely important given our tight hospital capacity,” Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. 

Malcolm reminded Minnesotans to use all public safety measures to fight COVID-19. “Boosters are not our only way through this surge. We need all Minnesotans to continue using multiple strategies to prevent the spread of COVID, such as masking, testing, and social distancing. Getting your initial vaccination series is still critical as well, and now getting your booster when you’re due is another layer of protection.”

Minnesotans seeking a booster shot can visit mn.gov/vaccine to find a provider near them to schedule an appointment or find a walk-in clinic. Minnesotans are able to receive any of the three approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines as a booster dose regardless of what vaccine they received for their primary series.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health advised vaccine providers that they should immediately begin preparing for expanded booster eligibility, including making any changes needed to their electronic records and scheduling systems so that appointments for booster doses will be available as soon as authorization was given.

Vaccine providers currently have a high level of inventory, and MDH is urging providers to use the usual ordering process to order additional vaccines as needed to provide booster doses to all adults while also providing primary series vaccines.

With Friday’s announcement, about 1.7 million Minnesota adults who have not yet gotten a booster are now eligible for their booster dose.

Minnesota is a national leader in administering booster doses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 26.1% of fully vaccinated Minnesota adults, about 846,000 people, have received their booster. Minnesota is second in the country for booster coverage among adults, trailing only Vermont.

Minnesota is also one of the leading hot spots for rising COVID-19 cases.

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
  • 1-833-431-2053
  • Mon.-Fri., 9 am – 7 pm & Sat., 10 am – 6 pm

How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:

Information provided in part by the Office of Gov. Tim Walz.

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