No appointments needed for pediatric COVID-19 vaccines at DeKalb County Health Department

DeKALB – Parents seeking a COVID-19 vaccine for their children as young as five can now go to the DeKalb County Health Department without an appointment needed.

According to a social media post on the health department’s Facebook page, walk-ins are welcome for the child doses of the vaccine – for those ages 5 to 11 – three days per week.

Hours for pediatric vaccines include: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the DeKalb County Health Department, 2550 Annie Glidden Road in DeKalb.

Pfizer currently is the only COVID-19 vaccine offered to those younger than 18. It’s a two-dose immunization which requires three weeks, or at least 21 days, in between doses, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children who receive the shot must have a parent or guardian present and to make the appointment for them.

The CDC also on Friday recommended that all adults aged 50 or older receive a second booster if they haven’t already, because of a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations recorded in seniors as the virus again spreads across the nation.

Cases in Illinois have risen exponentially in May compared to previous months, driven by the omicron subvariant known as BA.2.

[ Think you have COVID-19? Here’s when to test, how to isolate and what you should know ]

DeKalb County was listed as of Friday at “medium” risk for community spread of COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. And eight counties are now listed in the “high” community spread, including Winnebago, Boone, Lee and Stephenson in northern Illinois.

At the Medium Community Level, people at risk of severe health outcomes are advised to take additional precautions to protect themselves from the virus, including masking up in indoor spaces. At the high level, everyone is asked to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

DeKalb County reported three new virus-related deaths this week, and a case rate of 55.8 cases per 100,000 residents, although reported cases do not include positive cases identified through rapid at-home testing. According to the IDPH, 36% of ICU beds are available in DeKalb County

Unlike previous strains of COVID-19, the omicron variant and subvariants might not present with a loss of taste or smell. Instead, many are reporting feeling cold- or flu-like symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

In general, watch for: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.