News7 In Depth


Oakland County prepares to roll out vaccine for 5-11-year-olds using school clinics

Posted at 11:17 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 23:17:52-04

(WXYZ) — With two kids under 12, Megan Wright- Jones in Walled Lake has been anxiously waiting for a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, especially being pregnant with grandparents also living at home.

“That risk factor of them being in school and possibly bringing home a virus from being in school, really it was a lot,” Wright-Jones said.

She got the vaccine as soon as it was available and says her kids will too without hesitation.

“No it wasn’t even a question,” Wright-Jones said. “We didn't think about ‘should we, shouldn't we,’ it was just when it comes, you will get it.”

That time is now just days away as the CDC considers Emergency Use Authorization and counties get ready to administer the doses once approved.

The Oakland County Health Department already placed pre-orders with Pfizer for pediatric doses and is now working with local school districts to host vaccine clinics in schools.

“Some of our clinics will definitely be located at schools after hours,” said Oakland County Public Information Officer Bill Mullan. “We want to be able to begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 once it is approved pretty quickly.”

While some parents and health officials may be ready to vaccinate children, many parents are not, fearing it’s too soon with too little data.

“We just want to kind of see what the outcome would be with kids getting vaccinated so we’re going to hold off,” one parent said.

“I understand uncertainty,” said Dr. Molly O’Shea of Birmingham Pediatrics. “This is a brand new vaccine, it’s a brand new age group for the vaccine, So having some uncertainty, frankly, it’s normal.”

Dr. O’Shea says she is also preparing to offer the vaccine to patients and is confident it’s been studied closely in children

“If children were able to get the vaccine and the vast majority got the vaccine, we would have a much less disrupted school experience and children would be much healthier,” Dr. O’Shea said.

Now just days away, health officials are counting on parents to choose to get their kids vaccinated and parents counting on them to have it ready.

“Parents are going to play a big role in this not only obviously in terms of making the decision to get their child vaccinated against COVID, but they'll play a big role when the appointment comes,” Mullan.

“I really think the vaccine will give us that peace of mind, a little bit more peace of mind that we can all be protected now,” Wright-Jones said.

Oakland County is still working out specifics for the rollout and will have more information once the vaccine receives its EUA.