The CDC officially recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged five to 11 Tuesday. Now the question parents have is, where to get it?
DuPage County Health Department
The DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) said in a release it would offer the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine at multiple DCHD Public Health Center locations starting the week of November 15.
But parents can reach out to their child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider, local retail pharmacies and their child’s school to see if they may have vaccine availability sooner. DCHD says it partnered with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as the Illinois Academy of Family Physicians, to encourage all DuPage County pediatricians and family medicine providers to provide the vaccine for kids.
Parents can also register with DCHD Vaccine Registration and Scheduling, to receive information via email about scheduling an appointment as soon as they are available. They can also visit vaccines.gov to find a local provider.
Will County Health Department
The Will County Health Department (WCHD) also plans to partner with local pediatricians, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, and other community partners to administer the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, beginning Monday, November 8.
The vaccine for kids aged 5-11 will be available “at the Will County Health department vaccine clinics and several clinics held at schools across the county,” a press release said. It will be available at the county vaccine clinic during service hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
Clinics will be offered at Plainfield North High School, Manhattan Junior High School, Joliet West High School, Bolingbrook High School, Fairmont School, Peotone High School, and Reed Township Office. Parents can schedule an appointment now on the WCHD website.
Edward-Elmhurst Health is vaccinating the pediatric population at its Downers Grove Health Center, according to System Director of Public Relations Keith Hartenberger. People can schedule an appointment for a pediatric vaccination now on the Edward-Elmhurst site.
School Districts Working To Provide Vaccines
Naperville Community Unit School District 203 and Indian Prairie School District 204, along with Osco Pharmacies, are partnering to create a free vaccine clinic meant only for kids aged five to 11 at Kennedy Junior High School. Osco Pharmacy will be administering the Pfizer pediatric vaccine on Saturday, November 13 for the first dose, and Saturday, December 4 for the second dose.
Parents can register for an appointment via a link provided by District 204 or through an email District 203 sent to parents. Children receiving the vaccine must have a parent or guardian present. Parents or guardians should bring a form of picture identification with them on the day of the clinic. Health insurance is not required, but District 203 asked that those who have an insurance card bring it.
“Though we know that the vaccination is voluntary, we do want to make the process of getting the vaccines as easy as possible for our families who wish to get the vaccinations,” District 204 Superintendent Dr. Adrian Talley said at a November 1 board meeting.
Health Leaders Encourage Vaccine For Kids
Local health leaders are encouraging parents to vaccinate their children, in the hopes of continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19
“Protecting our children from severe outcomes associated with COVID-19 infection and reducing community transmission of COVID-19 are important steps in addressing the serious impacts this pandemic has had on our community,” DCHD Executive Director Karen Ayala said.
“The more people we have fully vaccinated, the closer we get to herd immunity, and decrease the opportunity for the virus to continue to mutate,” WCHD Executive Director Sue Olenek said.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Flanagan reports.
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