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Coronavirus/COVID-19

The pandemic has changed a lot but not our commitment to our patients and their families. We remain ever true to our three promises: to treat every child as we would our own, to treat others as they would like to be treated, and to turn no child away for any reason.

Our Patients' Safety

At Akron Children’s Hospital, serving our patients in a clean and safe environment has always been of utmost importance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have redoubled our efforts to provide a safe environment for you, your children and our employees, closely following the governor’s and CDC guidelines. Learn about our safety measures.

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 situation, we are:

  • Limiting entry points at the Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses.
  • Monitoring the temperature of patients, visitors and staff. 
  • Practicing social/physical distancing at all of our facilities. Families can check in for appointments when they arrive using Mobile Check-in and then stay in their vehicles until it’s time to come inside.
  • Testing patients for COVID-19 before they have surgery. Click here for details on where preoperative COVID-19 testing is available.
  • Continually educating and retraining caregivers on personal protective equipment and hand hygiene. 
  • Cleaning common areas frequently.
  • Installing more hand sanitizer dispensers.
  • Decreasing the number of visitors.
  • Giving surgical masks to all Akron Children’s employees working on-site.
  • Asking everyone visiting an Akron Children’s facility to wear masks or face coverings, except for kids under 2 or those with sensory issues. Masks will be provided for visitors who do not bring their own.

In addition to in-person care, Akron Children’s Hospital now offers telehealth (video) visits through MyChart for some services. Learn more about telehealth.

Akron Children’s is committed to providing the right care at the right time in the right location to best serve you, while ensuring the safety of everyone.

Public Vaccination Program

COVID-19 Vaccine Image

Akron Children’s Hospital is working with state and federal officials on the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is in accordance with the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program (ohio.gov)

Akron Children’s continues to administer the vaccine to those who meet the state’s eligibility requirements. Supplies are limited, and as additional vaccines are made available, our hope is to offer more appointments.

Before scheduling your vaccine, be sure to read the following information.

How do I know if I’m eligible to receive the vaccine?

Governor DeWine has issued a vaccine distribution plan for the state. You must meet the Ohio Department of Health’s criteria in order to schedule your vaccine. To learn if you meet the criteria, visit: COVID-19 Vaccination Program (ohio.gov).

How can I get a vaccine?

We are offering COVID-19 vaccines by appointment only. No walk-ins will be accepted.

How do I make my vaccine appointment?

You must schedule your vaccine appointment online. We are not scheduling by phone or in person at any of our locations. If you don’t see any appointments available online for a COVID-19 vaccine, we have allocated our current vaccine supply or are waiting on additional supply. Check back here in the future, but please do not call our offices or appointment center.

Once scheduled, it’s important that you keep your appointment and arrive on time for your vaccination.

Schedule your vaccine

If I received my first dose through Akron Children’s, will I also receive my second dose?

Yes, if you have received your first dose of the vaccine through the hospital, you’ll receive your second dose through us as well.

Where is the vaccine being distributed?

The vaccine is currently being offered at our Akron and Mahoning Valley campuses. We hope to expand to additional locations in the future. Check the page for updated information on available locations.

If I can’t make my scheduled appointment, what should I do?

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, please call (330) 543-2621 and cancel. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to reschedule the appointment.

What should I bring to my vaccine appointment?

Please bring your photo ID, insurance card (if you have one) and when it’s time to receive the second dose, your CDC vaccination card.

Will my insurance be billed?

Currently, there is no charge for the vaccine itself. We may bill your insurance a vaccine administration fee as this helps us support the costs of the public vaccination program. However, you will not be required to make a co-pay at the visit. In addition, you will not receive any bill or “balance bill” from Akron Children’s regardless of whether your insurance pays or not. We will still give you the vaccine at no charge even if you are uninsured or your insurance does not cover the vaccine.

Where do I park when I arrive for my vaccine?

The vaccines are offered at various locations on our campus. Refer to your appointment confirmation email for your specific location and parking instructions.

Akron Campus

Kay Jewelers Pavilion, Floor 4
Building address: 156 W. Exchange Street
Closest parking: Exchange Street Parking Deck, on the ground level

Take the parking deck elevator to the third floor and use the Exchange Street Bridge to enter the Kay Jewelers Pavilion for screening. Then follow signs to the Immunization Clinic. Visit akronchildrens.org/parking for maps, traffic and construction information.

Boardman Campus

Building C, Floor 2
6505 Market Street, Suite 2100

Follow signs for Immunization Clinic. Free surface parking available. For more information and maps, visit akronchildrens.org/parking
 

Where can I find a wheelchair on the Akron campus?

There will be wheelchairs placed at the elevators by the bridge entrance to the Kay Jewelers Pavilion (deck side) during the clinics. In the event that none are available, please request one from a screener and/or guest attendant at the K3 entrance.

 


About the Vaccine                                                                                           

Which vaccine will I receive as part of the Public Vaccine Program?

The hospital will be administering the Pfizer vaccine for the Public Vaccine Program.

Is the vaccine one dose or two?

Two doses are given for the Pfizer vaccines in order to reach full effectiveness. For side effects and other information about the Pfizer vaccine, click here.

Should we be concerned with the FDA's "Operation Warp Speed" program?

Despite an unprecedented accelerated pace, these COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness before being authorized for use in the United States.

The FDA requirements and vaccine trials were performed exactly the same way as any other vaccine that is available today. The difference is these vaccines were given more money, more people and researchers, and more attention to push it to the forefront to get the job done.

In other circumstances, vaccine development can take years because companies must first raise funds and staff the project to meet the FDA requirements. Because of the worldwide crisis, these major components were put in place, with help from the federal government and researchers around the globe, at the start of this project.

If I develop a fever after I get the vaccine, am I contagious to others?

No. This is not a live vaccine, so it cannot give you a COVID-19 infection and it will not make you contagious.

I have had COVID-19. Should I get the vaccine?

The study included evaluating whether the vaccine put people who had had recent COVID-19 at any increased risk of side effects or increased risk in terms of getting the vaccine, and the answer to that was no. So, there appears to be no additional risk to you to get the vaccine if you've had COVID-19. Immunity due to the vaccine seems to be greater than with the natural illness. Waiting 90 days after your COVID-19 illness is also an option as there appears to be some natural immunity for up to 90 days after natural illness with COVID-19. The CDC’s guidance may be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

I have COVID-19 now. Can I get the vaccine?

You do need to meet criteria to come out of isolation from the COVID-19 illness to get the vaccine. If you actively are sick with COVID-19 and you're still in your 10-day isolation period, we would not give you the vaccine at that point, but you could get it as soon as you're out of isolation.

If I have allergies or asthma is there an increased risk if I get the vaccine?

There’s no significant risk to you to get the vaccine if you have a medical comorbidity, in fact, it's quite the opposite. If you're at increased risk of severe COVID-19 disease because of a medical comorbidity like asthma, you're an even better candidate to get the vaccine because the vaccine will protect you from COVID-19 infection.

If I've had other vaccines or a TB test recently, does that impact my ability to get the vaccine at this time?

The short answer is no. The CDC is recommending that you not get any other vaccines within 14 days of when you get the COVID vaccine. And the reason that they're making that recommendation is because there are a small number of vaccines that interfere with each other's ability to provide an effective immune response. There is no evidence that's the case with the COVID-19 vaccine, but in order to optimize the effectiveness of your vaccine, that's the recommendation the CDC has made. The CDC’s recommendations are available here:

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html

Because the vaccine was made available so quickly, should I be concerned about the safety of the vaccine?

These were extremely large, extremely well-designed, clinical trials. The speed at which it was produced and made available was due to several factors: They put a lot of money into it, they put a lot of people into it, they did a lot of things in parallel that they would normally do in series. Normally they go to step A, step B, step C, mostly to try to save money, and instead they did A, B and C all at the same time. And that's how they sped it up. In doing so, they did not compromise on the vaccine end points, the efficacy end point was just what they would use if they had done a full trial that had gotten FDA approval. The main reason that this hasn't been FDA approved is because the FDA approval process requires six months of follow-up data. There are only two or three months of follow-up data available right now; however, they're following for more and this was a well-designed study.

Safety Measures

Do I still need to follow the PPE guidelines and universal masking if I get the vaccine? 

Yes. It's important to continue practicing proper hand hygiene, masking and social distancing while we learn more about the length of immunity that the vaccines provide.

How You Can Help

Af Am Woman mask and sanitizer

The most important thing our community can do to help our health care workers is to wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from people who don’t live with them, wash their hands often and limit outings. For those community members and business owners who have expressed an interest in donating items, thank you.  If you have a stock of the most-needed items below, we will gladly accept your donation. Please email COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org to give details on the items you want to donate, along with your name and phone number. We will let you know when and where you can have the supplies delivered.

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Latex-free exam gloves
  • Surgical masks and N-95 masks
  • Disposable splash gowns

Prepared Food Donations
We are also accepting donations of prepared food and meals for our health care providers and staff. If you’re interested in making a donation, please refer to these important food donation guidelines first.

Again, please email us at COVID.Resources@akronchildrens.org to make arrangements for delivery.