COVID vaccines offered for kids in west U.P.

It’s only been two days since COVID-19 vaccines for children age 5 to 11 were recommended by the CDC.

But local health departments are working quickly to get the pediatric Pfizer dose distributed.

Dr. Robert  Van Howe is the provisional director of the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and the Dickinson/Iron Health Department.

He said plans are already being made in the Copper Country to get children vaccinated.

“Well a vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds has been approved by the FDA and CDC. So we’re in the situation where we’ve already ordered the vaccine and have received samples already,” Van Howe said. “And it’s also likely that the primary care providers  in the area like pediatricians, family doctors and hospitals and clinics have already received the vaccine.”

Van Howe said he expects to be able to announce clinics to administer the pediatric vaccine in the Copper Country soon.

The Dickinson/Iron County Health Department already has clinics scheduled next week. Appointments are a must, no walk-in’s will be accepted.

The Dickinson County event will take place at the Dickinson County Fairgrounds in Norway on Nov. 8.  Parents can call 906-774-1868 for an appointment.
The Iron County clinic will be at the Forest Park School on November 10. Parents can call 906-265-9913 to schedule an appointment. .

Though the risk of children getting seriously ill from COVID-19 is minimal, Van Howe said it does happen.

“We are seeing in that age group getting sick, some of them are getting hospitalized. Some of them are getting very sick, there are a few deaths across the state in that age group so it’s not that the COVID-19 infection is mild in every child. There are kids that can get severe illness with this.” Van Howe said. “So, it’s important that they get vaccinated, so they can protect themselves and they can protect their classmates.”

He said there is no cost for COVID-19 vaccinations.

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