Polk County offers vaccinations at 2 area schools


POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Public health officials are trying to increase the rate of vaccinated 5 to 11 year olds who are newly eligible to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Four percent of children in that age group have received their first shot so far this month in Polk County, according to the health department.

“In Polk County, so far in the last two weeks, we’ve, as of this morning, vaccinated 2,100 children between the ages of 5 and11. So that’s countywide so that’s also our community partners and pediatricians as well,” said Fla. Health Department in Polk County spokesperson Pamela Acosta-Torres.

The health department vaccinated students at  Lake Gibson Senior High School in Lakeland on Thursday, and Ridge Community High School in Davenport the day before.

Students are not required by the school district to get vaccinated.

Health officials said 118 children got vaccinated at the event in Davenport.

“We want safety as a priority for children and for everyone so we want parents to know that they are safe and we’re here for any questions that they may have. We also recommend they reach out to their pediatricians for any questions that they may have and get those answered,” said Acosta-Torres.

According to Torres and the CDC, the COVID-19 vaccine underwent the most comprehensive and intense safety monitoring program in U.S. history.

Sixty percent of people eligible for a vaccine are vaccinated in Polk County, according to the latest COVID-19 report from the state. While the percent positivity rate remained under 4%, new COVID-19 cases Polk County rose slightly in the report.

Health officials remind parents that children can get sick from COVID-19 and can spread it to more vulnerable people.

“Although most childhood cases of COVID-19 are not as severe as adult cases, they can still test positive for COVID. They can have bad symptoms and they can have short and long term health implications,” said Acosta-Torres.

Children can get vaccinated at their pediatrician’s office, pharmacies and through the health department.

The Pfizer vaccine is available for children between the ages of 5 and 11 at the Bartow Specialty Care Clinic, 1255 Brice Boulevard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am to 6 pm starting Nov. 23. It is closed on Thanksgiving.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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