McLean County offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5-11

Coronavirus

FILE – In this June 6, 2021 file photo, a youth receives a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the central Israeli city of Rishon LeZion. The pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech say they have requested that their coronavirus vaccine be licensed for children aged 5 to 11 across the European Union. If authorized, it would be the first opportunity for younger children in Europe to be get immunized against COVID-19. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) will offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics specifically for children aged 5-11 on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 9-11:30 a.m. at Grossinger Motors Arena
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at Grossinger Motors Arena

Registration for the first-dose clinics listed above will be by appointment only by calling the MCHD COVID-19 Call Center at (309) 888-5600. The Call Center is open Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM. Walk-in appointments will not be immediately available for this age category.

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized the use of a mini-dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (10 micrograms) to be administered in a series of two doses, 3 weeks apart, for all eligible individuals. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) adopted the CDC recommendations.

“Although most children will not suffer severe COVID-19 illness, the risks associated with contracting COVID-19 are considerably higher and more serious than the minimal risks associated with vaccination. Because there is no ‘risk-free’ option, we encourage parents who still have concerns about the vaccine to talk to their pediatrician to make the most informed decision that is best for their family,” said MCHD Administrator Jessica McKnight.

Children under 12 have accounted for the highest percentage of newly reported cases of any age range in McLean County nearly every week for the last two months.

Vaccinating this age category significantly reduces COVID-19 hospitalization and deaths across all age groups as proven by population-based modeling study in the UK.

All minor children receiving a COVID-19 vaccine must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Parents who would like to assign a trusted adult proxy may do so by completing an MCHD proxy form. The form must be signed by both the parent/guardian AND the adult proxy who will be bringing the child to receive the vaccine. The proxy must provide proof of identification.

The proxy form will remain on file at the MCHD. A printable version of the proxy form is available online here.

The GMA (Grossinger Motors Arena) is located at 101 S. Madison Street in Bloomington. Parking is free for the first four hours in the GMA parking deck. The parking lot and the arena are both handicap accessible. All patrons should enter the clinic from the GMA’s south entrance.

More clinics for this age category are being planned and will be announced soon. Future clinics will include after-school hours.

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