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January 3, 2022

According to MDH, COVID-19 vaccine coverage rates for Minnesotan adolescents lag behind coverage levels for adults 18 and older. As of Dec. 29, 62 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds had received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with a range of 76.6 percent first dose coverage in the seven-county metro region to a low of 40.7 percent in greater Minnesota regions.

Further, Minnesotans living in the highest disadvantaged ZIP codes have lower COVID-19 vaccine coverage compared to adolescents living in the least disadvantaged ZIP codes.

It’s important to continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccine to adolescents and use MIIC reminder/recall tools to bring in those still unvaccinated. All Minnesotans 12-17 who have completed their two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series at any time in 2021 are eligible for a $100,000 college scholarship from the state of Minnesota. Learn more at Kids Deserve a Shot!.

 

Members of MNAAP represented the chapter well at the Dec. 4 Black Men with Stethoscopes Youth Summit (BMWS) event, hosted by Hennepin Healthcare.

Inspired by the documentary series movement Black Men in White Coats, BMWS aimed to expose Black men ages 12-18 to careers in medicine through hands-on activities and interaction with Black/BIPOC professionals.

MNAAP Board Member Nathan Chomilo, MD, FAAP, served as the keynote speaker, past MNAAP President Andrew Kiragu, MD, FAAP participated in the day’s events, and members of the chapter’s Anti-Racism & Disparities Work Group Kate Sadak, MD, FAAP, Liz Glismann, MD, FAAP, and Anjali Goel, MD, FAAP, staffed a table that offered hand-on demonstrations on ear and knee reflex exams.

Hennepin Healthcare plans to host a second event in late spring for young women interested in becoming a provider.

November 22, 2021

When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) made the Nov. 2 landmark announcement recommending that eligible 5-11-year-olds receive the COVID-19 vaccine, MNAAP members were at the ready to offer their support and guidance to parents and families.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, along with members Krishnan Subrahmanian, MD, FAAP; Andrea Singh, MD, FAAP; and Robert Jacobson, MD, FAAP were all quoted in news coverage across the state:

Several MNAAP members answered the call from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to submit short video message to share with Minnesota families. The videos were used to create outreach and education:

COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids: What Parents Should Know (Featuring Drs. Andrea Singh, Jordan Marmet, Gigi Chawla, Madeleine Gagnon, Sheldon Berkowitz, Eileen Crespo, and Nathan Chomilo)

COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids: What Pediatricians Are Saying (Featuring Drs. Gigi Chawla, Jordan Marmet, Judy Wiltse, Nathan Chomilo, and Andrea Singh)

Feel free to share these videos through your social media channels, or use other outreach materials in this toolkit prepared by MDH to help with patient education.

MNAAP President Sheldon Berkowitz, MD, FAAP, representing MNAAP members, signed on to a joint letter from MNAAP and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) addressed to all of the state’s school superintendents and school board members.

The letter, which was sent out on Monday, urged school leaders to make sure all schools follow the updated, current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for COVID-19 prevention in pre-K-12 schools.

“We must take this pandemic seriously and prioritize our children’s health and education. We need to ensure that all of Minnesota’s children have access to safer, in-person education,” Dr. Berkowitz wrote, along with MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm. The letter also outlined the multi-layered mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC and MDH, and was accompanied by an FAQ document to address common questions or concerns.

Dr. Berkowitz joined Commissioner Malcolm for the MDH COVID-19 briefing call on Tuesday to discuss the letter. You can listen to the full call through this MPR News YouTube video. The letter made headlines, with stories running in the Pioneer PressKSTPLakeland PBSUS News and the St. Cloud Times.

Consider following up with school district officials and school leaders in your area. Ask if they received the letter (you can download it from the MNAAP website to attach to an email, or print to send a paper copy), and offer your support of these mitigation strategies as a medical expert and a proponent of child health and safety.

October 14, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has made a toolkit available for providers to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine with patients and families.

Toolkit Materials:

     

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