Where to get your child vaccinated; what to do if they’re under 12

Our children may be trying not to think about the start of school, but parents: Now is the time to get your older kids protected against coronavirus. There is just enough time to squeeze in both doses of vaccine before the start of school.

Kids 12 and older can get vaccinated. You can make an appointment on the Lee Health website. But that begs the question: What about children under the age of 12? They make up a pretty big part of the population in our schools. Lee Health is following CDC recommendations when it comes to kids in that age group; the two safest things you can do are have your child mask up and stay home.

The other major factor is teaching them proper hygiene.

“You know, we really need to continue the education of hand-washing and proper hand hygiene,” said Niki Shimko, leader of the Golisano Children’s Hospital mobile vaccination clinic. “And if any symptoms, or your child is sick, keep them at home. Or if anybody, you know, at home has been sick, you know it’s really safe to stay home and ride out the sickness.”

Families have options right now. Mobile vaccination sites all around Lee County and outside it have administered over 400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 to 18. There will be one at Fort Myers High School from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“It’s been a really decent turnout, that the parents have been thankful for us being out in the community and… providing this opportunity for them to get the vaccine, and really kind of not making them travel far,” Shimko said. “I’ve actually been quite pleased with the turnout.”

And she says so far, the kids are pleased with the process, too. They even have a pain-free spray that they apply to your arm to numb any possible pain from the shot.

In Collier County, school starts Aug. 10.

The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is available in Collier for those 12 years and older. Your child will need a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks after their first dose. Note: DOH-Collier does not offer the Pfizer vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are available for those 12 and up at NCH. To schedule an appointment, go to nchmd.com. DOH-Collier offers the Moderna vaccine for those 18 years and older. To find a vaccination site, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/search/.

Reporter:Michael Hudak
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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