Chicago Department of Public Health and Chicago Public Schools Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout to Youth Ages 5-to-11, Pending Federal Authorization

October 26, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center    media.coronavirus@cityofchicago.org

 

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) today announced plans to roll out COVID-19 vaccine to youth, ages 5-to-11, pending authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Studies have shown the vaccine to be safe and effective in younger children, and the vaccines have been proven to provide the best protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19.

“As with adults, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect children from COVID-19,” said CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D. “We have been working closely with Chicago Public Schools as well as our network of providers across the city to ensure we have the vaccine at pediatricians’ offices, in hospitals and pharmacies, and ready for dedicated clinics and events – so we can start getting kids vaccinated as soon as we’re given the green light.”

CPS will also expand its efforts to provide access to the vaccine through the District’s regional clinics, school-based health centers and school-based mobile events across the city once the federal government approves the vaccine for those 5-to-11.

"Providing a safe and healthy learning environment is of paramount importance, and we know that vaccines are our most powerful tool to protect students and staff from the virus,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “In addition to providing access to the vaccine for our eligible younger students, we will be implementing a robust public information campaign to communicate that the vaccine is safe, effective, and crucial to protect the health of CPS parents, students, staff, and all of our school communities."

The CPS campaign includes videos like this one featuring students talking about the importance of vaccination as well as informational materials for schools and community partners. While planning is still underway, there will be a number of ways for families to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, including:
  • Family health care providers – CDPH recommends families first reach out to their medical home to see if appointments are available.
  • CPS sites  the District will offer a number of opportunities for students to get vaccinated – visit cps.edu/COVID for details. This will include:
    • Four Regional Vaccination Clinics at CVCA, Roosevelt, Clark, and Richards High Schools
    • Mobile vaccination units
    • School-based health centers
  • Local pharmacies – across the city, some pharmacy locations will be provided vaccines in the first one-to-two weeks after approval and each have their own registration processes (included below). Pharmacies have been asked to prioritize Chicagoans and current patients.
    • Walgreens: Register online, call your local Walgreens or 1-800-WALGREENS (1-800-925-4733)
    • CVS: Register online, call your local CVS or 1-800-679-9691
    • Mariano's: Register online
    • Walmart: Call 833-886-0023, Option 1
    • Chicago Costco Pharmacies: Register online for an appointment or call a pharmacy directly.
  • Other community events and CDPH-hosted clinics – details will be posted at Chicago.gov/COVIDvax. This includes:
    • Six family-focused COVID-19 clinics at select City Colleges on weekends across the city. These events will offer pediatric COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines, 12+ Pfizer, 18+ Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer/J&J boosters.
    • Starting on November 15, 2021, all CDPH-sponsored community events as well as Protect Chicago At-Home appointments begin pediatric vaccination. For a calendar of our community events, visit Chicago.gov/VaxCalendar. Make an at-home appointment at Chicago.gov/AtHome or by calling (312) 746-4835.
  • Select children’s hospitals will host pediatric vaccine events – check hospital websites for dates and more information.
All 5-to-11-year-olds, as well as anyone 12 and over receiving their primary vaccination series, will be eligible for a $100 incentive while receiving their vaccine at a CDPH- or CPS-hosted event. Note that booster doses, while available at events and At-Home vaccinations, are not eligible for incentives.

At most vaccination locations, parents must accompany the child. Exceptions include CPS school-located vaccination clinics, school-based health centers, and some healthcare providers with signed consent forms from a parent or guardian.

Clinical trials – with thousands of volunteers – have shown the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective for children age 5 and up. As with all COVID-19 vaccines, every study, every phase, and every trial to determine the vaccine is safe and effective for children was reviewed by the FDA, CDC, and a vaccine safety group. Additional trials are underway for the other vaccines and additional age groups.

While using the same “formula” as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adults, the recommended dose for 5-to-11-year-olds is expected to be one-third the dose of adults.

All COVID-19 vaccinations are free, no insurance or government ID required. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and find vaccines for your family at Chicago.gov/COVIDvax.

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