Pending CDC approval, the Pfizer vaccine could be available to kids 12 to 15 years old as soon as Thursday. The FDA authorized its use for children 12 and up Monday following clinical trials that showed the vaccine was safe and effective.
A CDC advisory community is scheduled to meet Wednesday before officially opening the Pfizer vaccine to younger eligible children. Chicago and other suburban counties say they will be ready as soon as the approval comes.
“It basically gives us another tool to protect children against COVID-19,” said Dr. Tina Tan, Lurie Children’s Hospital.
But just because it could be available as early as this week, a recent poll shows only 29% of parents of kids under 18 say they are willing to vaccinate their children.
“With this vaccination, I want to know a little bit more before we give it to them,” parent Willie Preston said.
While he welcomes the news, Preston is still hesitant to sign his children up right away.
“I don’t want to choose for my kids to take that vaccination and something comes back, and it’s harmful to them, it’d be hard to live with myself,” he said.
Pam Katz, a nurse and mother of twins weeks away from turning 12, said she won’t think twice about signing her children up.
“This vaccine is a gift. It is safe, it is effective, is protecting all of us, it’s going to help us,” Katz said.
Katz’s son Hudson has Type 1 diabetes and she’s not willing to risk his health with this added vulnerability.
“It was super important for me for, especially him, to get vaccinated, as soon as we could,” Katz added. “It’s a chaotic disease and we don’t need to lump something more hideous on top of it like COVID.”
Dr. Tan said she understands some parents’ hesitancy, but said the science shows this is safe.
“It’s the only way that we’re going to be able to control this pandemic and move back towards some semblance of normalcy,” Tan said.
Starting Tuesday, hours will be extended at several mass vaccination locations in Cook County.
Sites in Matteson, River Grove, South Holland, Des Plaines and Forest Park will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
There have been 1,356,391 million total COVID cases, including 22,235 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 41,133 specimens for a total of 23,388,864 since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from May 3 to May 9, is 3.4%.
As of Sunday night, 1,906 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 473 patients were in the ICU and 242 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 9,978,915 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Sunday night. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 81,265 doses. There were 70,426 doses reported administered in Illinois Sunday.
The deaths reported Monday include:
Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s
Peoria County: 1 female 30s, 1 male 40s, 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 male 70s
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