More than 1,000 local children receive vaccine at school clinics
Two school-led COVID-19 vaccine clinics served a combined 1,100 children between the ages of 5 and 11 on Friday, Nov. 12, in Winnetka.
The six public school districts that feed into New Trier High School collaborated on a clinic at Carleton Washburne School, where 950 area students received a dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to Dr. Trisha Kocanda, of Winnetka District 36.
Kocanda called the turnout “fabulous.”
A second clinic is set for Tuesday, Nov. 23, and registration for it reportedly began Thursday, Nov. 18. The clinics are free of charge.
“We are really honored to be able to host something like this for New Trier Township communities,” she said. “I know many families left relieved with close-by access to the clinics, and we appreciate all of the efforts to make sure the kids were comfortable.”
Kocanda said a lot of school staff and other area public workers, including paramedics and nurses, were on hand to aid in the efforts.
Stickers and activities were available, cartoon movies were played, and snacks were provided, she said, adding that no adverse reactions were reported.
Other districts participating were: Wilmette District 39, Avoca 37, Kenilworth 38, Glencoe 35 and Sunset Ridge 29.
Sunset Ridge Superintendent Ed Stange said in an email to The Record, “Many District 29 students participated in the first event and we are grateful for the collaborative effort on behalf of all the New Trier Township elementary school districts!”
On the same day, North Shore Country Day School hosted a clinic of its own in Winnetka, where about 150 children aged 5-11 received a vaccine dose.
“We are very excited to offer this opportunity to our students and families,” Head of School Tom Flemma said in a statement. “The availability of vaccines for children 5-11 is a hopeful sign, especially as the weather turns colder. We continue to creep closer to normal, but most of our mitigation strategies will continue — including wearing masks for the time being — to protect the students and staff at school.”
The second half of both clinics, at which children will receive the second dose in the Pfizer vaccine series, is Friday, Dec. 3.
Kocanda said the districts anticipate about half the turnout, but more registration slots can be opened if the demand calls for it.
“The feedback has been extremely positive from families,” she said of the clinics.
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Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319