Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Monroe County opens 4 pediatric vaccine clinics for ages 5 to 11, doctor’s offices to follow

Max Schulte

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered its endorsement Tuesday to recommend the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11.

The vaccine has proven to be 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in this age group. Now, vaccine clinics and doctor’s offices locally are preparing to administer the pediatric dosage to kids as soon as this weekend.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced that four county-run pediatric vaccine clinics will be open on the weekends, beginning this Saturday, November 6.

“Having your child vaccinated is the best way to protect them and to protect your family, and it's the best way to keep our kids in the classroom,” Bello said.

On Saturday and Sunday Pittsford Plaza, Greece Ridge Mall and Monroe Community College (downtown campus) locations will be taking children by appointments only from 9am through 3pm.  Edgerton Rec Center will be open on Sundays from 1pm through 4pm, where walk-ins are welcomed. The four clinics will not be administering vaccines to those 12 and older on those days.

Appointments can be made here.

"These county-run pediatric vaccine clinics provide one more option for parents who want to access the vaccine, but aren't able to see their pediatrician quickly enough, or for parents whose children don't have a pediatrician,” Bello said. 

The week of November 15 is when health officials said the majority of family practices and pediatric clinics will have the supply and manpower to begin rolling out the vaccine.

“Our primary care offices throughout the region are continuing to be strained,” said Schulz. “What the vaccines are going to do is reduce the number of sick calls that we're having,” said Rochester Regional Health’s pediatrician Dr. Steven Schulz who believes the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.

“This protects our kids from getting COVID, protects them from missing school, it protects them from getting serious illness, hospitalized, and even death,” Schulz said.

 Approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children ages 5 through 11 resulted in hospitalization nationwide and 146 COVID related deaths have occurred within this age group, according to the CDC.

“We know that keeping our kids safe does have an indirect effect on their family members as well,” said county’s public health commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza. He encourages parents to talk with their primary care provider if they have questions or concerns, and to seek information from valid and credible sources.

“We want to make sure that all parents know that it's okay to ask questions,” said Mendoza

Racquel Stephen is WXXI's health, equity and community reporter and producer. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.