Unit 5 and District 87 are making plans for COVID clinics for younger students
Officials with Bloomington's District 87 schools said they estimate just 20% to 30% of kindergarten through sixth-grade students will get the coronavirus vaccine now that they have become eligible.
District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said the low percentage estimate from the Jewel-Osco pharmacy doesn't surprise him.
"As we've monitored the percentage of our students 12 and older who have actually gotten it done, it doesn't surprise me a lot. Given that this is even a younger age I think there is a lot of concern out there among parents," said Reilly.
Reilly said he does not think the district should relay health experts' messages to parents that the risk of complications from COVID is much higher than the risk of a problem with the vaccine.
"I would highly encourage parents to reach out to their own physician, their own pediatrician, to talk about these issues because I don't know the health condition of every single child," said Reilly.
Both District 87 and Unit 5 schools said they are finalizing plans for vaccine clinics for the 5-11 year old age group.
District 87 does not have a date to announce. It is working with Jewel-Osco pharmacy.
Unit 5 has told parents the tentative date for its clinic will be Saturday, Nov. 13, at Kingsley Junior High with the help of Carle Health. The Unit 5 event will function like an adult mass vaccination clinic. Unit 5 families can fill out an interest form at Carle.org and be notified when signups open.
Unit 5 cautioned that if children have difficulty with getting a shot they should schedule it privately with their pediatrician instead of going to the large clinic at Kingsley Junior High.
A Unit 5 spokesperson said interest has been significant since the date went out to parents Monday.
In addition to pediatricians, some chain pharmacies are also offering COVID vaccines for children.
CVS said 50 select locations in Illinois are now accepting appointments for those ages 5 to 11. That appears to include the CVS location in Uptown Normal, according to CVS' appointment website.
Hy-Vee said Monday it was offering a limited supply of free COVID vaccines for children at select pharmacy locations, though it was unclear if Hy-Vee's Bloomington location was among them. Check Hy-Vee's website to learn more.