Lake County is leading all of Illinois’ 102 counties in vaccinating children ages 5-11, with more than 20% who have received their first dose, state data shows.
Data updated on Friday from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) shows 20.55% of children in Lake County in the 5-11 age range received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Illinois as a whole shows 13.33% of kids ages 5-11 have received their first dose while McHenry County is at 12.81%.
IDPH has reported administering over 60,000 vaccine doses each day last week, numbers which have not been seen since May.
The uptick in vaccine administration comes after the CDC authorized booster shots and also expanded the use of the Pfizer-BioTech COVID-19 vaccine for the 5-11 age group in early November.
Health departments in Lake and McHenry counties are urging parents to get their kids vaccinated following the authorization.
The CDC said there are approximately 28 million children in the United States in the age group.
The Lake County Health Department said the two-dose for children aged 5-11 is one-third of the dosage that older adolescents and adults receive.
Pfizer’s kid-sized vaccine was nearly 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years, the CDC said.
In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.
The Lake County Health Department said they anticipate that the supply of pediatric vaccine will increase soon at pharmacies, healthcare providers and mobile clinics at schools and other sites.
“The opportunity for more of our community to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is something to celebrate,” said Mark Pfister, Executive Director of the Lake County Health Department, in early November.
“I urge parents to get their eligible children vaccinated against COVID-19. Increased protection will be crucial as we head into colder months and many of us start to spend more time indoors,” Pfister said.
The Lake County Health Department said they encourage parents to contact their children’s doctor, check with local pharmacies, and register at allvax.lakecohealth.org to get notified about scheduling a vaccine appointment.
The McHenry County Department of Health said they are holding vaccine clinics on select days at its Crystal Lake and Woodstock locations for children.
Those interested in scheduling an appointment can visit bit.ly/MCDHCOVIDVaxLoc.
“Many parents have experienced loss of work and witnessed the emotional impact of COVID-19 on their children. Choosing the vaccine for our youngest children will lessen their chance of COVID-19 disease and hospitalizations,” McHenry County Department of Health Medical Advisor Dr. Laura Buthod said in early November.