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Health department to host vaccination clinics at Boone County schools for students ages 5 and older

The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services says it plans to start school-based COVID-19 vaccination clinics during the week of Nov. 15.

"We plan to start the COVID-19 school-based vaccination clinics starting the week of November 15 because that is the week after we finish up with these school-based flu shot clinics," Sara Humm, the PHHS public information specialist, said.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Wednesday that the state is now following the CDC's recommendation to give the Pfizer vaccine to children 5 to 11. The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID vaccine approved for 5 to 11-year-olds.

Humm said the schools participating in the vaccination clinics will be the same schools currently enrolled in the flu clinics.

Currently, Columbia Public Schools participates in the flu shot clinics for students in preschool through 12th grade, according to their website. The clinics require a parental consent form for anyone younger than 18 to receive the shot, and the COVID vaccine will be no different.

"They'll need to make sure that parental consent form is signed for their child to be able to get that COVID vaccine at school," Humm said.

Necole Palmer, a CPS parent, said her 10-year-old son is happy to get vaccinated.

"He is looking forward to resuming normal activities, especially Christmas. He has asthma and his grandparents are over 80, so we want to take any opportunity to keep everyone healthy," Palmer said.

In Boone County, there are both public and private schools enrolled in the health department's school-based flu shot clinics. Humm recommended contacting your school nurse for more information.

With plans in place for school clinics, Humm said the main thing they are waiting on is the vaccines themselves. The pediatric dose is a third of a regular dosage for individuals 12 and older.

"The vaccine has not yet arrived, so we have not gotten a shipping confirmation just yet," Humm said.

Distribution of just over 116,000 pediatric doses across the state began earlier this week, with federal plans to scale up to full capacity over the next two weeks, according DHSS.

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