CPS urging children to get COVID-19 vaccine with day off Nov. 11, ahead of Thanksgiving

Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium offering free admission Friday
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Students at Skinner Elementary and other CPS schools are enjoying a short week with a Thursday Veterans Day holiday and now Friday off for vaccination awareness day.

While school officials are encouraging kids to get vaccinated on that day, 9-year-old Kennedy is anxious to get her shot.

"As soon as they approved it, I signed her up," said mom Tracie Burt.

There are more than 200,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Chicago. And the Chicago Department of Public Health is promising there will be enough pediatric vaccine available for anyone who wants it. They plan to have some 200 vaccination sites across the city.

"If we can get a lot of students vaccinated and if we can get a lot of adults vaccinated and boosted right now is the time to do that," said Dr. Allison Arwady, CDPH commissioner.

Officials said they know the extra day off could cause some child care issues for parents. The city plans to have the Museum of Science and Industry and the Shedd Aquarium offering free admission Friday and park district facilities will also be offering activities for kids off of school.

CPS officials said they chose Friday to encourage vaccination in time for the upcoming holidays starting with Thanksgiving in a couple weeks.

"For a child to be fully vaccinated two weeks out this weekend is the magic time to accomplish that," said Dr. Pedro Martinez, CEO, Chicago Public Schools.

With colder weather on the way and more people staying inside the risk of covid spreading increases. That's why some parents say they support the extra day off school.

"I think it's a good idea if they have the whole day if they have something set up in the schools," said grandparent Denise Sullivan.

Chicago Public schools students who exhibit symptoms are required to quarantine. Unless they are vaccinated. That's why CPS is hoping to vaccinate as many students as possible before the holidays so they don't have to miss a lot of school in the second semester.
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