Cook County doctors address parental concerns ahead of kids vaccine rollout


COOK COUNTY, Ill. – Although the FDA has signed off on COVID-19 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.

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.

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