State health officials are renewing their call for parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

The federal government has now approved the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine dose for children age six months through five years, to increase their protection against variants currently circulating.  The state Health Department says vaccination rates for children younger than five remain very low across Minnesota:  (Fewer than 17 percent have received at least one dose, and fewer than five percent are up-to-date on vaccinations.)  Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says, “Thankfully, children getting very sick from COVID-19 is not very common, but children do get COVID-19 and we can’t predict which children will get very sick, so prevention is the best option.”