COVID-19 vaccines now locally available to young kids; 68% of Northland fully vaccinated

Children who are 6 months old to 4 years old are now recommended to receive COVID vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last weekend.

File: vaccine Carlton County
Infectious disease nurse practitioner Sherry Johnson, of Duluth, uses a syringe to draw Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine from a vial in December at St. Luke's hospital.
Clint Austin / 2020 file / Duluth News Tribune
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DULUTH — COVID-19 vaccines are now available at Essentia and St. Luke's for children 6 months old to 4 years old. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending the vaccine to this age group June 18.

Vaccines are open to anyone who makes an appointment at Essentia Health. Appointments can be made with the child's primary care provider or pediatrician, which can be done with the MyChart patient portal online or by calling 833-494-0836. Appointment availability will vary by location.

St. Luke's is offering vaccine appointments to current patients at this time. Appointments can be made via the child's MyCare patient portal online. According to a news release fom St. Luke's, the vaccines are in high demand.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health's COVID-19 vaccine data, 28 Minnesota Northlanders between age 6 months and 4 years have already gotten at least one dose of vaccine, as of June 21 data.

In the Northland's 10 counties, 271,107 people are fully vaccinated, or about 68% of the area's total population, according to the Minnesota Department of Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.


Between June 17 and 23, the Northland's Minnesota counties recorded 493 new cases of COVID-19. This does not include at-home positive tests. Five COVID-related deaths were reported in that time: three in St. Louis County, and one each in Koochiching and Lake counties.

Cases June 17-23 by county:

  • Aitkin: 10.
  • Carlton: 41.
  • Cook: 5.
  • Itasca: 69.
  • Koochiching: 23.
  • Lake: 16.
  • St. Louis: 329.

New cases in St. Louis County were most widely reported in people age 65-69 and 70-74, according to St. Louis County Public Health data. Twenty people in each age range reported new cases in the last week. Eighteen people age 50-54 reported new cases June 16-23.
The following number of cases were reported in St. Louis County cities June 16-23, according to St. Louis County Public Health:

  • Duluth: 213.
  • Hibbing: 28.
  • Virginia: 22.
  • Ely: 17.
  • Eveleth, Hermantown: 16 each.
  • Proctor: 10.
  • Brookston: 9.
  • Aurora: 8.
  • Chisholm: 7.
  • Cook: 6.
  • Gilbert, Mountain Iron: 5 each.

The rest of the cities reported less than five cases.
According to St. Louis County Public Health, 69 people have been hospitalized in the county with COVID in June as of Thursday. Eight people with COVID were admitted to an intensive care unit so far this month.

The following number of cases were reported in Carlton County cities June 16-23, according to Minnesota Department of Health ZIP code data:

  • Cloquet: 33.
  • Esko: 6.
  • Carlton: 5.

The rest of the cities reported less than five cases.

Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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