Osco Pharmacy to Begin Administering COVID Vaccine to Children 12 and Older

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Osco Drug Pharmacy announced they will administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children 12 and older after receiving approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday.

The pharmacy noted that those over the age of 18 can also receive the free Moderna and Johnson & Johonson vaccines either by a scheduled or walk-in appointment at Oscos.

To schedule a vaccine at Osco, click here.

Cook County announced plans Tuesday to open its mass vaccination sites to children ages 12 to 15 later this week after the Pfizer vaccine receives approval from federal regulators to expand to kids in that age group.

"Cook County Health is looking forward to welcoming newly-eligible adolescents age 12-15 for vaccination later this week," the county said.

The county noted that parents will be able to make appointments for their children ages 12 to 15 online once CDC approval has been granted, adding that the county's mass vaccination sites will continue to accept walk-ins.

The recommendation from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky comes hours after the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices endorsed the change, which was adopted 14-0 with one abstention. Two days earlier, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and BioNTech's request to allow their shot to be given to young teens on an emergency use basis.

President Joe Biden called the endorsement "one more giant step in our fight against the pandemic."

During Wednesday's meeting, CDC officials said there were no serious adverse events associated with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot in 12- to 15-year-olds out of more than 2,000 children in the companies' clinical trial. Most vaccine recipients, 91%, experienced side effects of some kind.

The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site and in joints and muscles, tiredness, headache, chills and fever, Pfizer scientist Dr. John Perez told the panel. With the exception of pain at the injection site, more adolescents reported side effects after the second dose than after the first. Side effects usually resolved within one to two days, he said.

Children make up around 20% of the total U.S. population of 331 million, according to government data. Between 70% and 85% of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated against Covid to achieve herd immunity, experts say, and some adults may refuse to get the shots. More experts now say, though, that herd immunity is looking increasingly unlikely as variants spread.

As of Tuesday, more than 150 million Americans age 18 and older have received at least one dose, according to data compiled by the CDC. Roughly 115 million American adults are fully vaccinated, according to the agency. About 13% of adults say they definitely won't get a vaccine while 21% say they will "wait and see" or will get one only if required, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

CDC officials told the panel that research shows vaccine hesitancy among parents, with only about 46% to 60% who said they wanted to get their kids vaccinated. Reasons for not getting the shots included concerns about safety, the time it took to develop the vaccine and not having enough information, officials said.

The vaccine was found to be 100% effective in the clinical trial of 12- to 15-year-olds. No deaths were reported. More serious side effects were more common in the vaccine group, with about 11% reporting things such as pain at the injection site that prevented daily activity, severe fever, headache or muscle pain.

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