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Multiple Sites In Chicago, Suburbs Prepare To Offer COVID-19 Vaccine To 12- To 15-Year-Olds

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A local doctor's phone is ringing off the hook already, with parents ready to vaccinate their kids against COVID-19.

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported Tuesday, the Chicago area is gearing up for the expected approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for of Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15. The Food and Drug Administration already gave its approval on Monday.

At the Francis W. Parker School, at 330 W. Webster Ave. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, there are plans to host vaccination events for kids starting this weekend – pending likely CDC approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds on Wednesday.

"We want or provide a school atmosphere where they can get their shot," said Ald. Michele Smith (43rd).

The clinic at Francis Parker is only open to Chicago residents ages 12 to 18, accompanied by a parent.

"Anyone from Chicago is free to come," Smith said.

With FDA having granted emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, Smith said they are waiting on the CDC approval expected Wednesday to officially open the clinic's portal up to the public.

"There is a tremendous amount of interest in this," Smith said.

They plan to vaccinate about 1,000 kids here when they kick off the clinic Saturday and Sunday. And they're not alone.

The City of Chicago announced all city-operated vaccination sites, offering the Pfizer vaccine, will be open to kids 12 to 15 starting Thursday, but parents can start making appointments now.

We heard the same thing from the Lake County Health Department, where sites are opening up to kids 12 and up. In Barrington, pediatrician Dr. John Beckerman's phone is ringing off the hook.

"This is going to allow kids to get back to a little bit more normal kind of life," Beckerman said.

Dr. Beckerman said he has been ready to vaccinate kids since the FDA's announcement, but pushed all appointments to Thursday to wait on the CDC.

And he said because only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, the number of kids they can vaccinate depends on the amount of vaccine they get from the county.

That is something into which everyone will run.

"Once we start drawing doses from a vial, each vial of the Pfizer vaccine holds six doses. Those doses need to be used within six hours," Beckerman said, "so there are all those very particular restrictions on that specific vaccine."

Also, while City of Chicago-run sites are accepting walk-in vaccinations for 12- to 15-year -olds at starting Thursday, that is not the case everywhere.

The vaccination event scheduled at Francis Parker requires pre-registration online, and Dr. Beckerman told us the same thing - parents need to set an appointment and, at every site, accompany their child.

Lurie Children's Hospital and Advocate Children's Hospital have also both announced plans to open up vaccine to kids 12 and up once their approved.

The Chicagoland Children's Health Alliance – is a partnership between NorthShore, Advocate and the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital, will make an announcement when it is ready to begin scheduling vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds.

For more information on where and when you can take your child for a shot, refer to the links below:

More From The City Of Chicago | More On The Francis W. Parker School Clinic | More From Lake County

A further list of sites where children ages 12 to 15 will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccination can be found here.


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