The staff of Butler Memorial Hospital's children's vaccine clinics started with a slow pace of vaccinating 10 children an hour to allow time to manage the varying temperament of children between the ages of 5 and 11.
They are now vaccinating about 25 children per hour, and the hospital's chief nursing officer, Karen Allen, said the amenities the staff put in place to keep their patients comfortable have been a sensation.
“We weren't sure how fast kids would move,” Allen said. “Kids, like adults, some of them are more nervous than others. We have had a really positive feedback from kids and parents.”
The hospital had more than 500 children scheduled to receive the vaccine in the first week, and registrations have continued to fill up, according to Allen.
As of now, first dose clinics for the Pfizer vaccine are scheduled for Nov. 18, Nov. 20, Nov. 23, Nov. 30, Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. Appointments can be scheduled on Butler Health System's website by clicking the top banner marked “BHS COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling.”
Allen said a child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the clinic to receive the vaccine, and they then schedule an appointment for the second dose. After getting the vaccine, patients have to wait in the specially-made children's room for 15 to 30 minutes to ensure the vaccination has no immediate side effects.
She said first and second dose clinics will run concurrently for the foreseeable future. “They have been filling up, so as long as we get a good reception, we'll keep going,” Allen said of the first dose clinics. “As we see the demand falling, we'll probably stop.”