This past week, the U.S. Food and Drug and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) authorized the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. In preparation for this announcement, Gillette scheduled additional vaccine clinics for our patients and caregivers that will begin on May 18.
Nearly 8000 patients ages 12 to 15 have been seen at Gillette during the past three years and their families should already have received communications about how to schedule their child’s appointment.
“As a physician and a mother, I was thrilled to hear this news,” says Madeleine Gagnon, MD, a Complex Care physician and Associate Medical Director of Pediatrics at Gillette. “Many parents are trying to navigate this environment in a household that is partially vaccinated, where the parents are but the children aren’t. Being vaccinated allows for greater peace of mind and mobility in the community. To be able to invite people into your home and to relax on some of the masking and social distancing between two vaccinated parties. The expansion of the vaccine eligibility is another step towards ending this pandemic.”
Before the vaccine was as readily available in Minnesota as it is now, a great deal of time and effort was made by Gillette’s medical staff and advocacy team to be able to provide the vaccine for our patients and their caregivers, as well as our own staff.
“There were a lot of changes during the pandemic, but our commitment to our patients and their families wasn’t one of those things,” says Tina Schlottman, an Infection Prevention nurse at Gillette who co-lead the organization and scheduling of Gillette’s vaccine clinics with Britta Saucerman, RN, CRRN. “There were many things we had to figure out in a short window of time, as just before our clinics for caregivers began, we received authorization to begin vaccinating eligible patients ages 16 and over. That made the experience even better, as we got to see entire families get the vaccine together. For many of our families caring for individuals who have complex medical conditions who were at higher risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19, that was no small thing. With this expansion, we get to make that happen for more people and it is our privilege to be a part of it.”
Gillette is proud to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to patients ages 12 and older, their siblings and unpaid caregivers. To sign up, visit gillette.mn/vaccine or call 651-229-1700.
Please visit the COVID-19 page for additional information and FAQ's.