Parents can now make appointments to get their children the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Kane Vax Hub in Batavia, which is run by the Kane County Health Department. The appointments begin Wednesday, Nov. 10 and more will be added weekly, according to a news release.
Children ages 5 through 11 years of age are now eligible for the vaccine.
The announcement from the health department comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that children between the ages of 5 and 11 receive the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech, and the Illinois Department of Public Health adopted the same recommendations today. Parents are encouraged to consult with their pediatrician.
That vaccine had previously been approved for people 12 years of age and older. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized its emergency use for 5- to 11-year-olds last week, and the CDC made the recommendation official Tuesday night.
Dr. Gina Song, a pediatrician at Northwestern Regional Medical Group, said that she supports the vaccines for younger children, and encourages parents to get their kids vaccinated.
“It’s important to look at benefits and risks [when deciding to recommend vaccines], and if the benefits far outweigh potential side effects, we recommend it,” she explained. “Right now, the rate of infection in children – while they don’t usually get as sick, they still can – still seems to outweigh the risk of vaccines. There is more of a benefit if kids get the vaccine. We’ll never achieve herd immunity unless the majority of people get vaccinated.”
One question Song said she hears from parents is whether the vaccine could cause infertility. There is no scientific evidence to support that claim, Song said.
“Every time [a vaccine] comes out, people think it will cause infertility – I hear that every time,” she said. “I understand there’s no long-term data [about the COVID-19 vaccine], but there is no science or evidence behind that theory, and I don’t know how people come up with that.”
Parents of young children are having mixed reactions about getting their kids inoculated.
Dean Argiris, a father of three kids from Algonquin, said he would like to get his 6-year-old vaccinated.
“I would vaccinate my eligible child because it protects them from potentially being hospitalized if they contract SARS-Cov-2, and given the frequency of ‘Covid notices’ I receive from their school, it is the smart thing to do. Additionally, the vaccine is safe and that is equally as important,” he said in an email.
Tonia Groezinger of Maple Park, however, said she will not be getting her now-eligible child vaccinated.
“There are too many unknowns because it is new. This virus seems to be like some others where it just mutates. This vaccine does not prevent illness. Therefore, I do not see a reason to inject my children with something that isn’t stopping illness and is so new,” she said in an email.
The Pfizer vaccine is given as a two-dose set, with the second dose given three weeks after the first.
The Kane Vax Hub at 501 N. Randall St. in Batavia is open Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Individuals that are 5 to 17 years of age can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and must have a parent or guardian’s signature on the Pfizer consent form.Pfizer-BioNTech consent forms are available to download from KaneVax.org and KaneHealth.com.
Other locations that will offer vaccinations for children include:
CVS Pharmacies, starting Nov. 7
1,700 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide – with more than 50 select locations in Illinois – are now accepting vaccination appointments.
To schedule an appointment: Visit www.CVS.com or go through the CVS Pharmacy app
Jewel-Osco: will offer the vaccine at on-site school clinics in the future
Meijer, appointment scheduler opens Wednesday, Nov. 3, shots begin Nov. 9
Meijer will offer the Pfizer vaccine in all its pharmacies across the Midwest. The retailer will begin administering the first in the Pfizer two-dose series to the those as young as 5 on Nov. 9 by appointment only to start.
Text COVID to 75049 to schedule an appointment.
Walgreens, starting Nov. 6
Walgreens will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 5 at its thousands of stores nationwide beginning Saturday, Nov. 6.
Appointments can be made at www.Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.
Walmart and Sam’s Club, beginning later this week
The retailers will begin offering vaccines to those as young as 5 in more than 5,100 pharmacies nationwide starting later this week “as supply allows,” according to its website.
The DeKalb Daily Chronicle contributed to this report.
Source: The Daily Chronicle