Vials of the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 are headed to the Chicago-area any day now, health officials say.
“We are expecting it today, tomorrow, at least by Wednesday," said Dr. Jackie Korpics, medical director for the Cook County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Response.
Dr. Korpics believes shots could start going into arms as early as Thursday, pending CDC approval.
“We are anticipating that more parents than even in the 12 to 17 age group will want to get the shot at their pediatrician’s office,” said Dr. Korpics.
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Side effects mirror those experienced by adults, including sore arm, fatigue and fever, but there’s good news for this 5-11 age group.
"The studies are showing that there's actually a little bit less side effects in this age group. So that's pretty exciting," Dr. Korpics said.
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.
"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.
That site will be at Duly offices at 805 Ogden Ave. in Lisle. According to Dr. Taormina, they can vaccinate the most children with trained vaccinators who will watch kids for the 15-minute required observation time after the shot.
"As supplies allow and as the kind of rollout takes place, we hope to be able to expand from there into other sites,” Dr. Taormina said.
Duly Health and Care is not scheduling appointments just yet and neither is the DuPage County Health Department.
"We're really looking for what is the most appropriate, safest care setting for children," said Adam Forker, director of client access for the DuPage County Health Department.
DuPage County is not planning on vaccinating children ages 5-11 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, where they have been administering booster doses of the vaccine three days a week.
"We're going to be closing that site and we're going to be offering the pediatric appointments at three of our public health center locations. We have our main office here in Wheaton, which will be one of the sites. We also have satellite locations in Lombard and Westmont,” Forker said.
You can register eligible children online now. They DuPage County Health Department will contact you about scheduling an appointment, as soon as they start taking appointments.