Young children get vaccinated at Cook County Health shortly after shots for kids authorized


CHICAGO — A dozen children got their COVID-19 vaccines Friday at Cook County Health as the city doubles down efforts to increase vaccination rates ahead of the holidays.

Getting a shot is not typically what a child looks forward to, but for 11-year-old Stella, it was a proud moment to roll up her sleeve and get her first dose.

She was one of the first kids in the 5 to 11 age group who received the shot at Cook County Health Friday afternoon, making signs and sharing stories on the importance of getting vaccinated.

For Stephanie, the shot is about getting to spend more time with loved ones.

“I’m getting the vaccine so I can have playdates with my friends and I don’t have to worry about getting my grandma sick,” she said.

Iliana Mora has led the local vaccination efforts and has said parents can have confidence in the science behind the shot.

“Those same scientists that were behind the vaccine for adults are the same scientists that were behind the vaccine we administered today for the kids,” Mora said.

As part of a campaign to get as many students vaccinated as possible, Chicago Public Schools canceled classes next Friday so students can get their shot.

City employees will also get two hours of paid time off that day to get their children vaccinated.

“It is really about the importance of protecting our children, especially right before the holidays are coming,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said.

The pediatric vaccine is one-third of the dose of the adult shot, with kids needing a booster 30 days after the first shot.

CPS said school will not be canceled for a second day, but absences will be excused. Information on where kids can get their shots can be found here.

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