Dozens of free COVID-19 vaccination opportunities throughout Deschutes County will be available for Central Oregonians age 5-11, starting Monday, Nov. 8.
Bend-La Pine Schools and local health care providers launched a dashboard with local clinic dates and times after the CDC and FDA authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for young children.
NOTE: Vaccine opportunities are dependent upon the state supply of vaccines and could be subject to change.
“I continue to be impressed by our local medical community and their willingness to step up and create opportunities to help during this pandemic. I believe by offering so many local vaccine opportunities, families will have a wide range of options that fit their location and timing needs for their young students,” said Dr. Steven Cook, Superintendent of Bend-La Pine Schools. “Vaccinating this key youth demographic is one more step in helping make our community safer, keeping our schools open for in-person instruction, and putting an end to the pandemic.”
State health officials say they are expecting 180,000 initial doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, which is enough to cover nearly 53% of the state’s roughly 342,000 children ages 5 to 11.
Officials at the health authority cautioned parents they might have to wait a few days before the vaccine is widely available.
About two-thirds of the pediatric doses coming to Oregon are being shipped directly to health care settings like pediatrician’s offices.
The other third is going to pharmacies around the state.
Like their older counterparts, youth in classrooms who do not have symptoms, masked, and fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if deemed a close contact to a COVID-19 positive individual – keeping fully vaccinated students at school and participating in athletics, arts, and other enrichment activities.
Some of the local health care providers offering vaccination opportunities for the community include: Mosaic Pediatrics, local school-based health centers, Central Oregon Pediatrics Associates, Summit Pediatrics, St. Charles Health System, and La Pine Community Health Center.
“If your child is comfortable and familiar with a local health care provider, a good place to start is to reach out to that provider to make a vaccine appointment or to stop by your school-based health center,” said Tamarra Harris, Pediatric Program Manager, Mosaic Medical.
She noted that many local pediatricians and other clinics are offering vaccines for patients.
“Now that every school-aged child can be vaccinated against COVID-19, we are excited to bring a sense of relief to many parents and guardians, and those who work in education and child care,” Harris said.
Harris noted that local pediatricians and health care providers hope to vaccinate as many as 19,500 eligible Deschutes County youth during the outreach efforts.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and insurance is not required.
Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.