Schools and health departments help set up vaccine clinics for 5-11-year-olds

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MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) – Across Central Illinois, many counties and schools are working to get 5-11-year-olds vaccinated, including Monticello school district.

They’re letting the local Walgreens use their middle school to get shots into arms.

Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said they’ve had several families want to get their kids vaccinated and know this could help

“Our health department asked me to do a survey of our parents to see what our parents were thinking about our 5-11-year-olds, and we had a great return on our survey, and it showed about two-thirds of our parents plan to get their 5-11-year-olds vaccinated,” he said.

Zimmerman said the vaccine is not required for these students. So, ultimately it’s the parents decision, but he said the more people who are vaccinated the easier it is to keep people in school.

“My goal as superintendent is to keep kids in school as much as possible,” Zimmerman said.

Many parents still have several questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated. Brent Reifsteck is the medical director for the children’s service line at Carle Hospital.

He said the vaccine’s side effects are the same as what most adults have experienced, sore arm, fever, and chills, but there weren’t many reports of them in the clinical trials.

“Because adults, we’re big babies when it comes to side effects. So, when we get a little bit of a fever or a headache we complain about it, and kids just wanna play. So, kids just go play and they don’t complain,” he said.

Monticello School district is helping Walgreens with a vaccine clinic. It’s happening Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. at Monticello Middle School for 5-11-year-olds.

Carle hospital is also providing vaccines for that age group you can sign up and get more of your questions answered here.

OSF Healthcare also has vaccine clinics. You can find more here.

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