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Corvallis Parents: Children’s Vaccines, Child Abuse Records, Osborn Pool Hours, Corvallis School Move Around, Kids & Money

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Parents of small children have had to wait more than 18 months since the first adult COVID vaccinations were made available — and now that the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention has signed off on vaccines for children as young as 6 months, Corvallis parents may have to wait a bit longer.

Local agencies have put in their orders, and some doctors’ offices already have the vaccines, but to prevent waste, medical providers are waiting to schedule appointments. Once the vials are open, the entire amount needs to be used, and cannot be put back in the cooler.

“The Benton County Health Department and most of the local pediatric offices have already placed their initial orders for the vaccine,” said Benton County communications coordinator, Tyler Summers. “Additional deliveries will be arriving throughout the last week of June and into early July.”

The best place for parents to start is with their children’s pediatrician or care providers, but don’t expect to get in right away. An attempt to schedule a vaccination at Corvallis Family Medicine could not be fulfilled until nurses decided when and how to administer as many doses as possible at one time. They will contact existing patients with information once they have it.

Samaritan Health Services’ initial rollout will be limited during the first few weeks, according to its public information officer Mark Ylen. Nor will the vaccines for small children not be available at their SamCare Express or Samaritan Pharmacy.
“Although the coronavirus seems to be less risky for children, the infection is still one of the top 10 causes of death for this age group in the United States,” Ylen said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get the COVID-19 vaccine even if they’ve had the virus recently. It’s also good to know that children are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day.”

The Benton County Health Department will not have the vaccines for small children by their next event this weekend, but they may be available in time for their July events. Lincoln County does have some July events scheduled that are supposed to include this youngest age group.

The Moderna vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old will be administered in two shots, four weeks apart, and is approximately 37% to 51% effective. The Pfizer vaccine, for children 6 months to 4 years old, uses three shots, the first two over three weeks, and the final shot eight weeks later. There have been three cases of the Pfizer vaccine being up to 80% effective.

Data so far points to side effects being similar to those of older children, but milder. No reports of myocarditis or other rare side effects have been reported in the trials.

Gelser Blouin Fights Child Abuse Records Change: The Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) is trying to Limit the types of child abuse records available for public records requests, according to OPB. Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin, D-Corvallis, voiced her concerns that the action protected adults more than children and could be a “threat to child safety overall.”

DHS pushed for a change in laws in 2021 with Senate Bill 92 which “Extends confidentiality requirements for child abuse records to records of abuse of child in care.” However, legislators and the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association pushed back. Now the agency is attempting to make the change through the rulemaking process.

Attempts to reach Sen. Gelser Blouin for updates went unanswered.

Summer Pool Hours: Due to a lifeguard shortage, Osborn Aquatic Center is still not operating at pre-COVID levels, though it’s getting closer than it was last year. Osborn is also offering free monthly lifeguard training to try to combat hiring struggles.

Open Recreation runs from 1:00 to 3:00 pm Monday through Friday and 1:00 to 5:00 pm on weekends. Toddler Time, a low-key hour for children 6 and under, is from noon to 1:00 every day. Open Rec is limited to the first 200.

As summer ramps up, the number of swimmers is climbing, along with the weather — on Monday, there were 109 swimmers, by Tuesday, close to 200. Temperatures are expected to reach high 80s this week, possibly 90 by the weekend.

The best place for parents to stay apprised of any expanded hours is on the Osborn Aquatic Center’s social media channels, which are updated as changes are made to the website.

The next round of lifeguard training is scheduled to start July 1. Pay starts at $12.75 an hour, and bonuses are offered to try to cover morning hours from 5:30 to 8:00 am

Plenty of local, natural swimming holes are available, but due to higher-than-normal snowpack, they might not be the best option for families due to cold and fast water conditions. Even “good” swimmers have fallen victim to summer swimming incidents.

College Hill and School District Relocation: Major renovations will close Harding Center this summer, and the College Hill High School program will be relocated to the district office during the 2022/23 school year.

The superintendent’s office will remain at the district office, but school board meetings will move to the Lincoln Elementary School gym.

Renovations to College Hill/Harding Center will improve seismic, fire, and emergency safety; address accessibility and exterior and roof repairs; and modernize science, technology, engineering, and math classrooms.

Financial know-how: The kids have graduated or started their first jobs — but according to the National Financial Educators Council, more than half of young adults said their parents never taught them much about money. More than half of millennials were worried about paying back student loans.

Money guru Suze Orman recommends:

  • Teach kids about budgeting.
  • Encourage work for pay.
  • Get them started with a retirement plan.
  • Set expectations for college.

This week’s question:

As we head into the summer and a new school year, what is your biggest concern about a potential post-COVID “new normal”?

By Peggy Perdue

Got a story idea, question or response to this week’s question? Email editor@corvallisadvocate.com.

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