Olmsted County plans vaccine rollout for 5 to 11-year-olds

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(ABC 6 News) – The next battle of the pandemic is getting children ages five to 11 vaccinated once federal regulators like the CDC and the FDA give the green light for distribution in the coming weeks.

Olmsted County Public Health is working with community partners on possible mass vaccination clinics for children, community events and other venues for vaccine distribution once it’s approved.

"It’s a little different approach than older kids and adults. We know that that group takes a special skill set and comfort level and we know they’re a little bit more nervous and so as we’re planning, these are the things we are trying to take into consideration," Leah Espinda-Brandt, Disease Prevention & Control Nurse Manager for Olmsted County Public Health, said.

Based on the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 35 percent of parents say they’re going to be ready to go get their children vaccinated as soon as it’s approved. In Olmsted County, 35 percent of the children ages five to 11 is about 5,000 children that would be eligible.

"We do know for currently those that are 18 years and younger make up about 40 percent of our cases here in Olmsted County. So, we just kind of have to be patient and understand that it is a difficult decision for parents but we really encourage families… If they have questions, call public health or even talk to their primary care provider," Espinda-Brandt said.

Olmsted County Public Health encourages children in the five to 11 age group to get vaccinated once eligible as it will help eliminate the avenues for COVID-19 to keep moving through our community.