PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Public Schools and UnityPoint Health are joining forces to get students ages 5 to 11 vaccinated against COVID-19.
The CDC approved the Pfizer vaccine for that age group on Tuesday. The shot will be one-third of the adult dose.
Monica Hendrickson, public health administrator at Peoria City/County Health Department, said they ordered vaccines on Tuesday and received the first batch of 300 doses on Wednesday. She said children ages 0 to 11 account for 15% of new COVID-19 cases.
Starting on Tuesday, vaccinations will be available at all Peoria Public Schools for students ages 5 to 11. That’s 40% of the student population, according to Dr. Sharon Kherat, superintendent of Peoria Public Schools.
“The timing couldn’t have been better, especially with the holidays and winter approaching,” she said.
Dr. Kherat said there are many benefits to getting this age group vaccinated.
“The quarantining will go away, won’t have to participate in tests to stay if exposed to a positive situation. That means less COVID testing, fewer exclusions, and more focus on learning,” she said
Parents have to fill out a consent form. They’ll then be notified of their child’s appointment and can come with them.
“We encourage it, we know this age group, 5-11, may need a little coddling and we are definitely prepared to give them all the love and care they need during this process,” said Stephanie Doss, senior practice administrator at UnityPoint in School Health.
Clinics will be held every Tuesday and Friday from 9 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. A mobile UnityPoint Health team will go to each school to administer the shots.
Dr. Kherat said so far the district has received consent forms for 55 students.
“Together we can bring this pandemic to a close and continue safe in-person instruction,” she said.
In addition to the school clinics, there will also be two clinics offered at the Peoria City/County Health Department from 3 P.M. to 7 P.M. on November 9 and 11. Online registration is required.