School districts offering pediatric vaccine clinics this weekend

November 17, 2021 | 12:10 am

Updated November 16, 2021 | 10:25 pm

Graphic by Owensboro Times

Local school systems are offering free vaccine clinics for children ages 5-11 this weekend. Owensboro Public and Catholic schools systems are offering a joint clinic Saturday. Daviess County Public Schools is hosting a clinic Friday, and are additionally offering boosters for staff that day.

School officials said the clinic is voluntary and understand that not all families will want to participate. They encourage any families with questions to talk to their pediatrician or health care provider.

Officials also said they hope getting more of the student population vaccinated will allow a quicker return to a normal school atmosphere — including no mask requirement.

“I think it’s definitely a helpful step,” said OPS Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant. “We feel like that once we give the opportunity for our folks to have it at all ages that we serve, then we’re able then to think about different mitigation steps. One of those steps that everybody wants us to think about, including me, is taking the masks down.”

OCS Superintendent David Kessler added, “This was just another step along the road that hopefully is going to lead to a brighter future when we get through this pandemic. … We know that this helps. We would love to be back to normal, but we just want to protect as many people as we can. I do feel like it is another step in the right direction of having other options to help us get back to a more normal school year.”

Wendi Kozel, DCPS district health coordinator and a registered nurse, said the clinics are a way to help ensure everyone has access to receive a vaccine if they want it.

“We are trying to just make it accessible to families that are interested in receiving the vaccine,” she said. “It is up to the parent or guardian to decide that for their own child. We’re just providing access and a way for them to accomplish that.”

Clinic info

The OPS and OCS districts are teaming up to provide a pediatric drive-thru clinic that will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot of the Owensboro Innovation Campus at 2631 South Griffith Ave. Those attending should enter the lot from the Scherm Road side of the building.

Families will need to register online prior to arriving. They can do so here. They will also need to register for their second dose at the same time. That dose will be administered Dec. 11.

Families will need to bring their insurance card if they have one (not required) and parents need to bring a form of identification. 

The DCPS clinic is taking place from 3:30-6 p.m. Friday at Burns, College View, and Daviess County middle schools. A second dose will be administered Dec. 11.

Families can choose which site they would like to go to, but it is recommended to sign up to go to the middle school that the child does/would attend.

Parents or guardians have to be present with the child. Families who have not already signed up but wish to do so should contact their school nurse.

For the adult boosters, staff from Bluewater Diagnostics will be visiting schools throughout the day. Times are assigned to each school building, so staff will receive their shot based on that timeline.

Kozel said two different agencies are providing the shots, so there’s not going to be a mixture between the adult’s and children’s doses.

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital held its first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinic Tuesday, with more than 100 children getting their shots. More vaccine clinics specifically for those ages 5-11 will be held at OHRH on Tuesdays from 4-7 p.m. An appointment is needed and can be scheduled at

Info on the pediatric vaccine

The CDC announced earlier this month that it recommends the 5-11 group be vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer vaccine.

According to the CDC announcement, “The spread of the Delta variant resulted in a surge of COVID-19 cases in children throughout the summer. During a 6-week period in late June to mid-August, COVID-19 hospitalizations among children and adolescents increased fivefold.”

The announcement continued, “Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years. In clinical trials, vaccine side effects were mild, self-limiting, and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. The most common side effect was a sore arm.”

Owensboro Health Children’s Center pediatrician Dr. Rebekah Booth said earlier this month that the pediatric dose is about one-third of the normal adult dose. 

“This may make many parents more comfortable with getting children vaccinated since there is less likelihood of children developing an intense immune reaction to the vaccine that could result in conditions such as myocarditis,” she said.

OH Director for Outpatient Pharmacy BC Childress said earlier this month that the preventable hospitalizations and fatalities related to COVID-19 in children are greater than any vaccine’s adverse effects, such as myocarditis. 

“No cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported in the clinical trial for children ages 5–11 years (over 3,000 patients),” she said. “Furthermore, the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis after receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine is lower than the risk of myocarditis associated with COVID infection in adolescents and adults. When voting on the approval, many CDC committee members noted that their decision was influenced by the fact that there have been zero deaths linked to myocarditis from the COVID-19 Vaccine. The benefits of vaccination in this population heavily outweigh the risks.”

November 17, 2021 | 12:10 am

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