As kids ages 5 to 11 now get COVID-19 vaccine, experts urge caution at Thanksgiving rallies – CBS Chicago – Community News
Covid-19

As kids ages 5 to 11 now get COVID-19 vaccine, experts urge caution at Thanksgiving rallies – CBS Chicago

ELMHURST, Illinois (CBS) — We’re only a week away from Thanksgiving, and unlike last year, you might finally get several generations together in one house.

While the White House said about 10 percent of 5 to 11-year-olds in the U.S. have already received their COVID-19 vaccine, CBS 2’s Marie Saavedra reported Thursday night that everyone should exercise caution — as COVID-19 cases are among school-aged children have started.

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Alexander Minarich, 6, and his 8-year-old sister Olivia are among the newly vaccinated in DuPage County.

“I was a little excited and a little scared,” Alexander said.

“Once I got it, it didn’t hurt that much,” Olivia added.

Their mother, Laura, said of the children’s vaccination that ‘tremendous relief’ is a perfect word.’

Laura is a GP practice, which has spent the pandemic treating COVID patients. She wanted her older two vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We think it’s an important step for our family to maintain safety and get to where we need to be from a comfortable position,” she said.

Whether you have children at home or not, it’s worth paying attention to the numbers related to children and COVID right now – for two reasons. First, you’ll probably be with some of those kids over the holidays. Second, both in the state and in DuPage County, the number of COVID cases is growing fastest among children under the age of 18.

“Our biggest increase in cases is within the school-age population, so the 5- to 10-year-olds,” said Karen Ayala, executive director of DuPage County Health.

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Ayala’s numbers are similar to the state’s, with 5- to 11-year-olds being the group with the most new cases.

“That’s another reason we’re so excited that we can now target that population with a vaccine,” Ayala said.

In recent weeks, more than 16 percent of DuPage County children under 12 have had their first COVID shot. Statewide, the number for that age group is just over 12 percent.

That’s progress, but it hasn’t eliminated the threat.

“We encourage people to just remember the number of other people your child comes into contact with — at the grocery store or at church or at school, or, you know, at grandma and grandpa’s house next week,” Ayala said.

The Minarich family agrees.

“They were brave,” Laura Minarich said of her children. “I’m very proud of them.”

The more children are protected, the better for everyone.

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“I was very excited and very happy that I finally got the vaccine,” said Olivia.