Monday was the first day that children age 5 to 11 could be vaccinated against COVID 19, and the Missoula City County Health Department hosted a special clinic just for children at their Southgate Mall location.

COVID 19 Incident Commander Cindy Farr provided details of the event.

“Yesterday (Monday) was the first day that we were able to vaccinate kids in that five to 11 year old range and our appointments filled up really fast,” said Farr. “We ended up vaccinating 138 kiddos during our clinic yesterday. As many people know we actually have an evening clinic on Mondays that starts at three which actually worked out really well for those kiddos that are in school during the day.”

Farr said the staff and volunteers helped to make the clinic more ‘kid-friendly’.

“We always handle our little kiddos that are getting vaccinated a little bit differently than we do with adults,” she said. “We had little treats for them so that whenever they got their shot, they got to get a sticker and they got to get some crayons. I think that just we kind of rearranged the clinic a little bit because obviously what's a little different when you have kiddos compared to adults and it was just a really good experience for everyone as far as I have been told.”

Farr said the 138 vaccinated on Monday is a very small percentage of the number of children between 5 and 11 in Missoula County.

“There are about 8,000 kids in that age range, and so we are taking appointments right now,” she said. “I can tell you that if you're a parent and you're trying to get your kiddo vaccinated, our afternoon available slots are filling up really fast because you don't want to have to pull them out of school. For those that are MCPS students, I know that there’s no school on Friday and so that might be a good day to try and get your kiddo in.”

Farr did provide an extra incentive to get your child vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We've had a lot of parents that are really frustrated when their kiddos get exposed to COVID, and then they have to get quarantined and so then they can't go to school,” she said. “So one real benefit to getting your kiddos vaccinated is that if they're exposed and they're fully vaccinated, then they don't have to be quarantined, and so they'll be missing less school. So that's another thing to keep in mind if you're still debating on whether or not to get your kids vaccinated.”

Farr provided important contact information for parents.

“You can call 258-INFO (4636) and they can help you get scheduled,” she said. “You can also go to Missoula and you can schedule an appointment there. And if none of our appointments at our health department clinic work for you, you can go to COVID-19 dot and you can see a list of other places there that are providing that vaccine.


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