BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Health officials in McLean County are continuing to get children in the 5 to 11-year-old age range vaccinated against COVID-19.
Tuesday, the county health department hosted its second clinic at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington.
Nearly 100 kids over the course of two weeks are now protected against COVID-19, thanks to the McLean county health department’s two downtown clinics.
9-year-old Angel Gomez-Delio said all she felt was a poke, but it felt great to be protected against the virus.
“That really didn’t feel like anything except you got poked. I honestly couldn’t feel it,” Gomez-Delio said.
At this Tuesday’s clinic, health officials said 50 kids got their first dose of the Pfizer children’s COVID vaccine with their parents on hand.
“I partly did it on my own, but I partly discussed it with my mom,” said 11-year-old Owen Lukow.
Lukow said he felt a slight sting and some discomfort in his arm, but said it’s worth it to know himself and others around him won’t get seriously ill.
“It means a lot to me because I really don’t want to get COVID and if I am out in public, I don’t want to transfer it to anyone else,” Lukow said.
Marianne Manko, public affairs coordinator for the MCHD, said it’s important to vaccinate school-aged children because of how many people they encounter every day, especially with the holidays right around the corner.
“When you get children in this age category vaccinated, you’re also protecting all the other age categories around them and all the family members they have contact with, too,” Manko said.
“It’s so important because these kids really really have more face-to-face contact with other human beings than any other age category. And they’re also the ones who are going be hugging and kissing grandma and grandpa. Quite frankly, grandma and grandpa are not going to stay away from these cuties,” she said.
Manko encourages parents to weigh the risks of their children getting COVID, versus the side effects of getting the vaccine.
“You want to make that choice that has the lowest risk, and in this case, the vaccine will almost always win over as the lowest-risk choice,” Manko said.
This was a first dose clinic with the kids returning in December for their second shots.
The health department is holding another 5-11 clinic Tuesday, Nov. 30.