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12-year-olds and up can now receive Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Sedgwick County

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 8:25 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County began vaccinating 12 to 15-year-olds with the two-dose Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. The county is administering the vaccine at the old downtown library, 223 S. Main.

Parents can make an appointment for their child or walk in. They will need some form of identification to show the child is 12 to 15 years old. If there is no proof of age, then a parent or guardian will have to sign a form stating the child is in that age range. Parents or guardians must be present during the time the child receives the vaccine if they are 12 to 15 years, even with the second dose. If the child is 16 or 17, they do not need a parent present, but the county will place a video call into the parent to ensure it is okay for the minor to get vaccinated.

Some parents have been following along with the news coverage on the COVID-19 vaccine. As soon as they learned their kids would be eligible, they didn’t hesitate to get them vaccinated on Thursday.

“I was excited how quickly it was available. So I’ve been following it in the news. I knew it was going to be soon. read a news story this morning. then in about 5 minutes, hopped in the car and got it done ‘cause I knew we need to, I’ve been on a time crunch with some of our summer plans,” said Albert Jirak, the father of two teenage boys.

Adrienne Byrne, the director for the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) said anyone having a hard time making a decision on whether to get vaccinated or get it for their child, should talk to someone they trust.

“If they are on the fence, I recommend they talk to their pediatrician, or family physician if they’re not giving the vaccine. Go ahead and talk to them. Ask their pastor or anyone that they trust and hold in regard, and just know that this vaccine has been under more scrutiny than ever of any vaccine in history. And the county says it’s working to ensure everyone can get the vaccine if they want it,” said Byrne.

Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said there are 160,000 children in Kansas between the ages of 12 and 15. He spoke to the University of Kansas Health Systems about what kind of impact getting these kids vaccinated will have.

“I think it’s going to be a big impact, both of in terms of getting kids in person in schools many schools are already having in-person classes of course and ultimately, I can’t tell you when it’s going to be but distancing and mask-wearing will become a little less critical and we’re especially seeing where it impacts athletics where if somebody’s vaccinated and they have a close contact and they’re asymptomatic they don’t need to quarantine,” said Dr. Norman.

The secretary said the state will not run out any time soon. He said Kansas has weeks of inventory. He also said the recent uptick in cases at long-term care facilities is due to unvaccinated staff members coming into the facility. He said very few residents are getting sick.

As for adolescents, Byrne said Sedgwick County is working with school districts and other vaccine sites to expand its clinics. She said parents can even check with their child’s pediatrician to see if they are administering the vaccine.

“We want to do everything we can to make it accessible, to increase that comfort level with getting anybody vaccinated, particularly children,” said Byrne.

Eyewitness News knows parents have a lot of questions when it comes to the COVID and their children. We want to help answer them. Make sure you join us next Monday at 6:30 p.m. for a very special Right Now with Michael Schwanke. We will have health professionals and school leaders in our studio to answer your questions about the vaccine. That show will air next Monday at 6:30 p.m. on the KSCW.

You can find more questions and answers for the COVID-19 vaccines and kids here: https://www.kwch.com/2021/05/12/explainer-how-covid-19-vaccines-will-work-for-kids-in-us/

En español

Si usted tiene un hijo entre 12 y 15 años, ya puede recibir su vacuna del COVIDd-19 aquí en el condado de Sedgwick. El condado dió la noticia el Jueves por la mañana.Sabemos que tienen muchas preguntas, así que hablamos con los líderes de salud del condado para que respondierán algunas de sus dudas.

Las vacunas se administrarán en la antigua biblioteca en el centro de wichita en la calle 223 S. Main. Si gusta puede hacer una cita, pero no es necesario.

El condado de Sedgwick también está trabajando con los distritos escolares y otros sitios de vacunas para expandir sus clínicas.

Si prfiere puede llamarle al pediatra de su niño para ver si ya estan disponibles en su clínica. También va a necesitar traer una forma de identificación que pruebe que su hijo tiene entre 12 o 15 años. Si no tiene una identificación, el padre o tutor tendrá que firmar un formulario asegurando que el niño tiene esa edad.

El padre o tutor tiene que estar presente cuando el niño sea vacunado, esto solo si tiene entre 12 o 15 años. El padre o tutor no necesita acompañar al joven si tiene 16 o 17 años, pero el condado lo contactará por video llamada, o de alguna otra manera para asegurarse que el niño tiene permiso para vacunarse.

La Directora de Salud del condado, Adrienne Byrne dijo que si aún está indesiso y no sabe si quiere que su hijo reciba la vacuna, hable con alguién de confianza como el pediatra, el docotor familiar, o cualquier pesona en la que usted confié. También dijo que esta vacuna ha sido examinada más que cualquier otra vacuna en la historia.

El condado sigue trabajando para asegurarse que todos puedan recibir la vacuna si la desean.

Puede encontrar más preguntas y respuestas sobre las vacunas COVID-19 y los niños aquí: https://www.kwch.com/2021/05/12/explainer-how-covid-19-vaccines-will-work-for-kids-in-us/

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