Vaccine clinic for teens planned for Wednesday in Harvard

Clinic will be from 3 to 7 p.m. at Community Health Partnership

The McHenry County Department of Health will host a vaccine clinic for those 12 to 18 years old Wednesday afternoon in Harvard.

The clinic will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. at Community Health Partnership, 62 N. Ayer St. in Harvard. Pre-teens and teens can make appointments, but must be accompanied by a parent.

The event will include free food and giveaways. Pizza will be provided and those who attend will receive a free ticket to Six Flags.

COVID-19 vaccines have not been approved for children younger than 12.

Health departments around Illinois have been working to encourage youth to get vaccinated by offering free tickets to theme parks, a partnership Six Flags announced with the state in May.

In McHenry County, Public Health Nursing Director Susan Karras said they are still seeing interest from teens and young adults who want the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Harvard area also has been one of McHenry County health department’s main targets for vaccination and it has had success distributing shots in the area, she said.

The push to get teenagers vaccinated comes as new school year quickly approaches. One McHenry elementary school is set to begin Wednesday and Crystal Lake-based Community High School District 155 follows Aug. 11.

Health officials have been concerned about the increasing spread of COVID-19 among young, unvaccinated students, who may also be unmasked in the classroom, as the more contagious delta variant becomes the dominate strain in the U.S.

Karras also said McHenry County has now seen at least five cases of the delta variant, with the youngest case in a 9-year-old.