More than 60 public school districts in the Cincinnati area will be dropping out of school this week and next, and regional health officials and pediatricians are hoping children will roll up their sleeves during the vacation to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“With the holidays around the corner, now is a good time to vaccinate children,” said Kate Schroder, the interim chief strategy officer Health cooperation, which represents six area hospital systems. “It protects you. And we have to let children be children again. You have given up so much. “
To date, 23% of children aged 5-11 in Hamilton County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Only the two-dose Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is approved for use in children of this age group.
Schroder reminded parents that there are 100 providers of vaccine for young children in Hamilton County, and parents can make appointments through the Health Collaborative website. Test and protect Cincy.
Cincinnati City Health Commissioner Melba Moore said the health department provides vaccines from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and has clinics at its Corryville administration building on Saturday. “We invite parents to use this time to get themselves and their children vaccinated,” she said.
Vaccination during recess means a child does not risk being exempted from school if the vaccination makes them temporarily tired or feeling bad, as some adults react to the vaccination.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center continues its clinics across the region and has delivered more than 7,200 doses to children ages 5-11 since the first clinic in Avondale on Nov. 3rd.
But today, Cincinnati Children’s announced a special vaccination clinic: the medical center is partnering with the Cincinnati Museum Center for a free clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 29 at Union Terminal. There, the suppliers of Cincinnati Children will administer vaccines in a room away from the rotunda. There will also be flu shots.
The clinic caters to children ages 5 to 11, officials said, but older children and adults are also welcome to receive the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine. No appointment is required.
“Our community continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination remains the way to defeat this virus,” said Elizabeth Pierce, President and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center. “With a significant proportion of our guests falling into the ages 5-11, we are excited to work with Cincinnati Children’s to protect our young guests and our community.”
Entry to the museum center is free for those vaccinated that day, and parking is free in the parking lots at 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. An underground bus service to the museum center is also available.
The museum center offered free entry to the vaccinated children in early December until the end of 2021.
Susan Wade-Murphy, a registered nurse and vice president of the Cincinnati Children’s Patient Service who oversees COVID-19 vaccination clinics, said the museum center is a great place to reach large numbers of children with busy parents.
“Vaccinating them now will ensure they get back to school safe and at the same time give them free entry to the museum center,” said Wade-Murphy. Cincinnati Children’s staff will also be vaccinating in the nearby West End.
Elsewhere in the region, pediatrician practices are preparing for two large weeks of vacation visits. Northern Kentucky is teeming with appointments at St. Elizabeth Physicians.
“Our numbers are extremely high, and not just because of vaccine availability,” said Dr. John LaCount, pediatrician with St. Elizabeth Physicians in Florence. “Every time a new variant appears, the number of vaccination seekers increases slightly.”
Schroder said vaccination of children was “especially critical with the new Omicron variant, holiday meetings and winter weather, which means more time indoors”.