Monroe County: 348 kids 5 to 11 vaccinated in county-run vaccine sites

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Vaccine clinics across our region have been popping up for children ages 5 to 11 now able to get a shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

Over the weekend, the county, pharmacies and many pediatricians gave out the shot.

“It was a great turnout from the standpoint of we had very few missed appointments of the three sites on Saturday and the one on Sunday considering we have never done this before,” Dr. Stephen Cook, clinical lead with Monroe County Health Department said.

The Monroe County Department of Public Health said over the weekend, 348 kids 5 to 11 got their first covid vaccine.

“We definitely saw you know the pace wasn’t so slow that people were waiting around we had enough staff, we looked at the space and had enough space for the kids to be spread out, so we know we could do more,” Cook said.

This comes as the Finger Lakes Region now has the highest percentage of positive covid test results in the state — with a seven-day average of 6.56 % of people testing positive as of Sunday.

“We’ve been overwhelmed with kids being sent home from school and running noses who have to come in and be tested and we do PCR tests in our office and we’ve been very busy. We’re seeing almost twice the number of patients we normally would,” Dr. Ed Lewis of Lewis Pediatrics said.

Dr. Lewis said in order to incorporate shots for the kids they have to do it on days where more staff is available and says so far they’ve vaccinated nearly 20 kids with the new shot.

“They were fine, the volume of the vaccine is less than half of most of the typical vaccine and we have our technique and nobody was really upset,” Lewis said.

Both Lewis and Cook said the early turnout is encouraging but only time will tell if it’s enough to get the COVID-19 numbers in our region down and are already planning the next steps.

“Could we have a separate line and over on the left are all the 5 to 11-year-olds are and there are four vaccinators there but then there are still adults on the other side and they can get their booster, Moderna, J & J and whatever and we have a family that needs both they can,” Cook said. “So if we could optimize that that’s going to be one of our next steps.”

Dr. Cook said moving forward, their next goal is identifying where the needs are for the most vulnerable families who want to get their kids vaccinated and they will continue to offer clinics as much as possible to help not just the kids, but also other family members.