CHICAGO — Kids 5 and older can now get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday gave the final OK needed for the Pfizer vaccine to be administered to kids 5-11. Local health care providers will start administering doses to kids Wednesday.
The federal government has already been shipping materials for child vaccinations — like smaller needles and paperwork — to Chicago, said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. About 100,000 pediatric doses are expected to arrive here in the first week of vaccinations, with more coming soon.
“This is not going to be ‘The Hunger Games,’” Arwady said last week.
There are an estimated 210,448 kids ages 5-11 in Chicago, she said.
Like adults, kids will get two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart. But the doses for kids 5-11 are smaller than those adults get, and they’re administered with smaller needles.
Kids can get vaccinated against COVID-19 for free. They do not need to be covered by insurance, have an ID or have a doctor’s order. They can get their shots at the same time they get other vaccinations.
The city is offering the vaccine to families in a variety of ways, distributing doses to doctor’s offices, clinics and more.
Chicago Public Schools will educate kids and families about getting young ones vaccinated, and the district will set up vaccination sites.
The vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective at protecting children from COVID-19, Arwady said.
Everyone 5 and older is already eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Chicago.
How To Get Your Child Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Chicago’s initial 100,000 pediatric vaccine doses will be spread among more than 125 sites citywide, and more will come in the near future.
Everyone 5 and older who gets vaccinated at a CPS- or health-department-sponsored event is eligible to get a $100 gift card.
Here’s how kids can get vaccinated:
Family doctor/health care provider
Families should first contact their family doctor or pediatrician’s office to get their child vaccinated, Arwady said last week.
“We would love them to go their regular provider,” Arwady said. “This should really be your first check.”
Chicago Public Schools
The school district plans to set up regional vaccination sites:
- Theodore Roosevelt High School, 3436 W. Wilson Ave.
- Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St.
- Richards Career Academy, 5030 S. Bishop St.
- Chicago Vocational Career Academy, 2100 E. 87th St.
It will also set up mobile vaccination units and school-based health centers.
Pharmacies will offer pediatric vaccinations. They have different registration requirements.
- Walgreens: Register online or call your local Walgreens or 1-800-WALGREENS (1-800-925-4733).
- CVS: Register online or call your local CVS or 1-800-679-9691.
- Mariano’s: Register online.
- Walmart: Call 833-886-0023, Option 1.
- Chicago Costco Pharmacies: Register online for an appointment or call a pharmacy directly.
Community and health department events
The city’s health department and other agencies will hold vaccination events. Details will be available online.
You can also check the city’s vaccination event calendar online.
The city isn’t offering at-home vaccination appointments to kids in the 5-11 age group for now, but it expects to do so by mid-November, Arwady said. But, in the meantime, the health department will vaccinate eligible children during at-home appointments for other people.
You can make an appointment online or by calling 312-746-4835.
Various children’s hospitals will host vaccine events. Check their websites for more information.
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