With COVID vaccines for children under 12 set to begin soon in the Chicago area, where should parents take their children to get one?
Here's a look at where parents can make appointments or request pediatric vaccinations in the Chicago area:
Walgreens and CVS
Walgreens and CVS will begin administering COVID vaccines to children under 12 years old this weekend, with appointments already being offered as of Wednesday.
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Walgreens said it will begin offering coronavirus vaccinations to children ages 5 to 11 starting Saturday.
Because the children's doses are smaller and in different containers, the doses must be shipped to both the state and city. Vials of the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for kids are headed to the Chicago area any day now, health officials say.
Walgreens said it is expecting shipments to arrive "later this week" but appointments for pediatric vaccinations are already available.
They can be made at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine, through the Walgreens app or by calling 1-800-Walgreens.
Walgreens said more appointments will be available in the coming weeks as the chain receives additional vaccine.
Meanwhile, CVS said it plans to start offering doses to younger children beginning Sunday.
The chain said its 1,700 locations nationwide, including more than 50 Illinois pharmacies, are already taking appointments as they anticipate vaccine supply to arrive.
CVS noted that parental or legal guardian consent is required, and children must be accompanied by an adult to get their shots.
Appointments can be made online at CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app.
The DuPage County Health Department said it expects the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to be available through many locations in the county, but appointments are not yet available.
"DCHD has been working with healthcare providers, schools, and other organizations to ensure a broad network of access for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19," the department said in a release.
Because the community has reached our goal of fully vaccinating at least 80% of residents over the age of 12 who have previously been eligible, the county plans to "shift our priority to getting the 5-11 year old population vaccinated,” officials said.
As such, the DuPage County Fairgrounds will close on Nov. 22 "because we recognize this would not be the best care setting to meet the unique needs of the 5–11 year-old population,” the department stated.
Pediatric vaccinations will begin in the county on Nov. 15 at a number of locations. For those looking to for earlier appointments, the department recommends the following:
1) Check with your child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider.
2) Check with a local retail pharmacy.
3) Check with your child’s school to see if they are hosting a clinic.
4) Register with DCHD Vaccine Registration & Scheduling. Those who register will receive information via email about scheduling an appointment as soon as appointments are available.
5) Visit www.vaccines.gov to find a provider near you.
Duly Health and Care, formerly DuPage Medical Group, is getting ready to administer the shots to its thousands of pediatric patients age 5 to 11 years old, but said timing still remains unclear.
"We don't know exactly how much vaccine we're getting and how quickly [we] will receive it. So in order to maximize access to the vaccine to as many patients as we can get it to, we're going to elect to start with our central site," said Dr. Mia Taormina, chief of infectious diseases at Duly Health and Care.
Duly Health and Care is not scheduling appointments just yet.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that while next week will be a big week for vaccinating children, the shots could begin as early as Thursday.
"I think it's likely that by this weekend if everything goes as planned, we'll probably probably maybe as soon as Friday, maybe even Thursday, you know, we may start vaccinating," she said during a Facebook Live Tuesday. "And, you know, a lot of it will probably be more next week realistically."
The city is planning a number of vaccination events for children starting next weekend, Arwady said.
Lurie Children's Hospital is accepting appointments here and will be hosting a vaccination clinic starting at 10 a.m. Friday.
In addition, Chicago's health department released the following list of places offering pediatric vaccinations:
● Family health care providers – CDPH recommends families first reach out to their pediatrician or family medical provider to see if appointments are available.
● CPS sites – CPS’ regional vaccination clinics and mobile school-based events will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11 starting on Nov. 10.
- Use this link to view the schedule for the clinics.
- Use this link to view the schedule for mobile events.
- Visit cps.edu/vaccinations for more information and vaccine opportunities.
● Local pharmacies – Across the city, many pharmacy locations already have vaccines and more will receive doses in the coming weeks. Each has their own registration.
- Walgreens: Register online, call your local Walgreens or 1-800-925-4733.
- CVS: Register online, call your local CVS or 1-800-679-9691.
- Mariano's: Register online.
- Walmart: Call 1-833-886-0023, Option 1.
- Chicago Costco Pharmacies: Register online for an appointment or call a pharmacy directly.
● Select children’s hospitals will host pediatric vaccine events – check hospital websites for dates and more information.
● CDPH will host family vaccination clinics at City Colleges of Chicago. These events will offer pediatric COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines, as well as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and booster doses to all Chicagoans. You must be 18 or older to receive a J&J vaccine. All clinics will be open 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Registration is required and will begin on Nov. 5 at www.chi.gov/YouthVax.
- Saturday, Nov. 13 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, Nov. 14 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, Nov. 20 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, Nov. 21 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, Dec. 4 – Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S Pulaski Rd.
- Sunday, Dec. 5 – Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N Narragansett Ave.
- Saturday, Dec. 11 – Kennedy-King College, 6301 S Halsted St.
- Sunday, Dec. 12 – Olive-Harvey College, 10001 S Woodlawn Ave.
- Saturday, Dec. 18 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, Dec. 19 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
- Saturday, Jan. 8 – Truman College, 1145 W Wilson Ave.
- Sunday, Jan. 9 – Malcolm X College, 1900 W Jackson Blvd.
● Starting Nov. 15, CDPH’s in-home vaccination program, Protect Chicago At Home, will also offer pediatric vaccination for all children age 5 to 11. Make an at-home appointment at Chicago.gov/AtHome or by calling 312-746-4835.
● Standing CDPH immunization clinics will also offer pediatric COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only. This includes:
- Uptown WIC 845 W. Wilson Ave., 2nd Level (call 312-742-3227 for an appointment).
- Greater Lawn WIC 4150 W. 55th St. (call 312-745-1477 for an appointment).
● Starting Nov. 15, all CDPH-sponsored community events will offer pediatric vaccinations. For the calendar of community events, visit Chicago.gov/VaxCalendar.
Dr. Jackie Korpics, medical director for the Cook County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Response, believes shots could start going into arms as early as Thursday.
"We are in touch with each of the more than 700 schools in our jurisdiction as well as pediatricians throughout the county to facilitate convenient vaccinations of children," the county health department said in a release. "We hope to see families coming out to get vaccinated together, particularly to be able to celebrate safe and healthy holidays with extended family and friends."
The Kane County Health Department announced Wednesday that appointments are now available for pediatric vaccinations at the Kane Vax Hub in Batavia. Vaccinations begin on Nov. 10 at KaneVax.org.
The department said more appointments will be added weekly.
Other Locations in Illinois
IDPH reported vaccines will be available at local health departments across the state, at a number of pharmacies, at pediatrician officials and other providers. Places administering the vaccine will be asked to watch a training video prior to offering them to children.
So far, roughly 2,200 providers in Illinois have registered to administer the vaccines to young patients, according to IDPH. The department is also working with schools across the state to set up vaccination clinics and plans to host hundreds of youth vaccine events.