Saturday ‘Family Vaccination’ Clinics Added to Initiative
Richton Park, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Southland College Prep Charter High School will host Saturday vaccination clinics for children 5 to 11, providing an opportunity for an entire family to be vaccinated, beginning November 13, 2021.
Southland College Prep began last summer to host its Wednesday free vaccination clinics to battle COVID-19 at the district office location, 4601 Sauk Trail, Richton Park, Illinois. The Saturday clinics focus on children and their families.
A pediatrician will partner with the existing clinic staff to answer parents’ questions and address concerns.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized shots for children 5 to 11 and Tuesday the Center for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously decided the Pfizer vaccine is ready for elementary school children, prompting Southland to expand “opportunities for whole families” to get vaccinated at no cost.
Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, CEO of Southland College Prep Charter High School and superintendent of Matteson School District 162 has been at the forefront of efforts to reach community members since last summer, hosting weekly clinics and spreading the word through ads, publicity, and social media.
“Vaccines are working,” said Dr. Davis. “I think it’s the reason positivity rates are going down. We anticipate keeping the clinic open until the end of the school year.”
While the downturn in COVID cases has been encouraging, experts are concerned about the coming holiday months when travel begins anew and more indoor events are scheduled during the winter months.
While parents are being encouraged to consider the vaccinations, they are not being ordered to comply, nor worry about any mandates.
“The decision is totally the parents’ choice,” said Dr. Davis. “But we will be offering vaccination clinic appointments for parents to ask questions.”
The clinic will continue to be conducted by the staff of Emerge Med Staffing, led by its CEO Richard Watson, M.D., FACEP.
“We have done magnificently well at in-person education and Dr. Watson is going to team with a pediatrician in order to answer parents’ questions,” said Dr. Davis. “All children ages 5 and over are welcome.”
Wednesday free clinics at Southland will continue from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Saturday clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
An honors graduate of Howard University Medical School and the first Black chief resident physician at the University of Chicago Hospital, Dr. Watson is board certified in emergency medicine and a fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians. He heads the Hazel Crest, Illinois-based medical organization, which has a dedicated COVID center where tests for anti-bodies for protection from the virus, tests for the virus and vaccine inoculations are available.
“We opened our clinic at Southland College Prep as one of opportunities for young people getting read to return to school after the long summer and now we hope to help families prepare for the holidays and winter months,” said Dr. Davis.