Chicago doctors urging parents to get their children vaccinated

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Doctors from across Chicago will be at Comer Children’s Hospital Friday to urge parents to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

The hospital is just one of many places across county and city that people can bring their kids ages 5-11 to get vaccinated.

Chicago Public Schools will cancel classes next Friday, Nov. 12, so parents and guardians can get children vaccinated. CPS is calling the initiative ‘Vaccination Awareness Day,’ which aims to ensure all eligible students have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, a letter addressed to parents and families read.

Although the FDA has signed off on vaccines for kids five and up, many parents say they still have concerns. A Cook County Health online question-and-answer session held Wednesday sought to offer some clarity.

Dr. Kerri Lockhart, with the Rush University Medical Group, joined Dr. Jacqueline Korpics from Cook County Health Department addressed misinformation and inquires about vaccinations.Pediatric COVID vaccines arrive at Chicago hospitals 

One mother asked about her child, who is about to turn 12. Regarding the vaccine, she wondered if she should wait and get the bigger dose for that age group or go all in now?

“It’s a good question and it’s come up a lot. No. You want to get them vaccinated as soon as you can and then when they have their 12th birthday, get the bigger dose that’s appropriate for the 12-year-olds,” Dr. Lockhart answered.

Doctors say of the 3,000 kids in the 5-11 age trial group who get the vaccine and not the placebo, some showed the typical signs of a reaction – none too serious, however.

“Very commonly fever, some redness and pain to the injection site and headache are the most common,” Lockhart said. “And for this group, we’ve actually seen [kids] have milder side effects; even the 12-17-year-olds and even less in adults.”

When it came to questions about any effects the vaccine may have on a kids’ heart, such as an inflammation of the heart muscle known as myocarditis, doctors were optimistic.

“None of the children from the 5-11 group showed myocarditis. Where we did see it was in the 12-17-year-old age group.”

Cook County will be holding a vaccination event for kids 5 to 11 Thursday through Saturday at the Chicago Ridge Mall from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Walgreens and CVS will begin offering the shots this weekend.

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