All Campus Email From Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President (May. 14, 2021)

From: Katie Callow-Wright, Executive Vice President of the University and Chief of Staff in the Office of the President
Subject: COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 12 to 15 at UChicago Medicine

I write today to announce the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 12 to 15 at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) following the recent decision of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents and approval by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Children of University of Chicago faculty, staff, students, OAAs and postdoctoral researchers, regardless of whether they are UChicago Medicine patients, are eligible for a vaccination appointment at UCM. Parents/guardians should call 773-834-8221 to reach UCM’s call center for appointment scheduling. Appointments are available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The two-dose vaccine will be given in UChicago Medicine’s vaccination clinic inside Mitchell Hospital.

We encourage all parents/guardians whose children are between 12 and 15 years old to take advantage of this opportunity and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Only vaccines that met the FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality are granted emergency use authorization (EUA). You can find more information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Additional Groups
Eligible students at the UChicago Laboratory Schools and UChicago Charter Schools, including those whose parents/guardians are not affiliated with the University, will have access to the vaccine through a separate vaccine clinic coordinated by UCM. The students’ immediate family members can be vaccinated through this clinic as well. More information about this clinic will be communicated to these audiences in the near future. Patients ages 12 and older at UChicago Medicine and Comer Children’s Hospital are also eligible to receive vaccinations through UCM, whether or not their parents have an affiliation with the University or UCM.  Vaccines are now widely available across Chicago for all eligible individuals, including those ages 12 to 15; you can find a listing of other vaccine providers on the City of Chicago website.

Appointment Details
All patients who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will need to wait 15 minutes for observation (30 minutes if they have a history of allergic reactions). Second-dose appointments will be made during the clinic visit for approximately three weeks after their first dose.

Children who receive vaccinations from UChicago Medicine must be accompanied to the vaccination clinic by a parent or guardian. Parents/guardians with additional questions related to the vaccine may contact their child’s pediatrician for specific guidance.

Please note that vaccinations are not yet available for children 11 and younger. Pfizer is expected to request authorization for this group in the coming months. The University will continue to provide updates on this as needed.

If your loved ones have not yet been vaccinated, please encourage them to do so. Vaccination is a proven method to protect those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the virus.