MINNESOTA (KTTC) -- The 'Vax to School' campaign is a partnership between the Department of Health and the Department of Education in an effort to get Minnesota students and staff vaccinated before the start of the school year.
"The time is now to really increase our rates of vaccination to make sure that we can protect in person learning," said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.
State leaders and health professionals understand how disruptive and dangerous the virus is and want to do everything they can to continue in person learning as safely as possible.
"In person learning is critical, it is critical to our children and the child's well-being and academic success," stated St. Paul Public Schools Chief of Staff Cedrick Baker.
The 'Vax to School' campaign will highlight voices from educators, pediatricians, and parents on the critical need to get students 12 and older vaccinated against COVID-19.
"We know there are parents as well as youth who are anxious about getting the vaccine. And to them I would urge that they talk with their primary care clinician, share their concerns and fears, and let the clinician help guide them through these concerns," said Pediatrician Dr. Sheldon Berkowitz.
"Just because we don't know the long term affects, we would probably hold off for now," said Minnesota mom Kirsten Neumann.
This worry of long term affects is one many parents seem to vocalize when it comes to the vaccine.
"But you're right, there's no way to know. So in the end what you have to do is is you have to balance what are the potential risks that this vaccine may cause a problem in ten years versus the actual risk that if you get infected now you're going to get very sick, you may end up in the hospital and you may die," Berkowitz said.
As of right now every Minnesotan 12 years of age and older is eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. Health care professionals are hoping to approve the vaccine for those five and older in early winter.