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Children ages 5-11 now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation for children ages 5 to 11 to receive the Pfizer-19 vaccine.

The CDC’s recommendation, announced this week, was made based on review of available safety, immunogenicity and efficacy data. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine for children Oct. 29. Previously, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was authorized for use in individuals age 12 and older.

“The vaccine for children age 5 to 11 is a smaller dose, which is a third of the dosage for individuals 12 years and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, three weeks apart, for all eligible individuals,” states a Missouri health department release.

“As a parent myself, I understand the concerns about vaccinating their young children,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS director. “It is important to make an informed decision based on factual, scientific information, not what is available in a social media feed. I highly encourage parents to discuss their child’s vaccination with their pediatrician or trusted medical professional.”


In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children age 5 to 11.

“Vaccine side effects were mild and similar to those seen in adults and with other vaccines recommended for children. These are normal signs that their body is building protection, but they should go away in a few days,” states the health department release. “The most common side effect was a sore arm.”

“While it is less common for a child to become severely ill or need hospitalization due to COVID-19, risk still exists,” said Kauerauf.

“The Delta variant is still prevalent among COVID-19 cases and it is impacting people differently than what we witnessed a year ago,” he said. “Also, we know kids can and do spread the virus and can unknowingly cause severe illness in others including senior citizens and at risk populations.”

According to census data, more than 533,000 of Missouri’s population includes children age 5 to 11 who are now eligible for vaccination.

Find a vaccine appointment

While younger children are now eligible to receive the vaccine, some local parents and care organizations are reporting finding an appointment to receive the vaccine is tough.

“Distribution of just over 116,000 pediatric doses across the state began earlier this week with federal plans to scale up to full capacity over the next two weeks. ... The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is given to adults and adolescents cannot be used for children age 5 to 11,” states the DHSS release.

Providers who pre-ordered pediatric vaccines are listed at {a href=”http://MOStopsCovid.com” target=”_blank”}MOStopsCovid.com. {a href=”http://Vaccines.gov” target=”_blank”}Vaccines.gov lists locations on an interactive map where vaccines are available. People can also text their ZIP code to 438829 or call (800) 232-0233 to find locations near them.

In Clay County

Vaccine appointments for those age 5 and older are available at Clay County Public Health Center, 800 Haines Dr., Liberty.

Corrie Courtney, program manager for immunizations at Clay County Public Health, said she preordered 400 doses of the pediatric vaccine, but only received 300, adding the state did warn her facilities may not get their full order on the first round.

As more doses become available the week of Nov. 15, the center should be able to schedule more appointments the following week. Sign up at {a href=”http://ph-claycountymo.as.me/511pfizerimms11821” target=”_blank”}ph-claycountymo.as.me/511pfizerimms11821. Adults must bring photo ID and all must wear a mask. Learn more at {a href=”http://clayhealth.com/311/Where-to-Get-Vaccinated” target=”_blank”}clayhealth.com/311/Where-to-Get-Vaccinated.

Children’s vaccines are also available at select Hy-Vee pharmacies in the Northland including the Liberty, Gladstone and Englewood Road location in Kansas City. Visit {a href=”http://hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/vaccine-consent” target=”_blank”}hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/vaccine-consent to schedule an appointment.

CVS pharmacies also offer vaccines at select locations. To make an appointment, visit {a href=”http://cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine/kids” target=”_blank”}cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine/kids.

Walgreen’s locations nationwide als offer the shots. Appointments can be made calling (800) Walgreens (925-4733) or visiting {a href=”http://walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid/19/landing” target=”_blank”}walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid/19/landing.

Heart to Heart International vaccine clinics are also being scheduled throughout Clay County and the Kansas City metro area. According to Clay County Public Health, events are “for anyone of eligible age to get vaccinated against COVID-19.” The next clinic is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at Excelsior Springs High School at the PAC entrance at 612 Lynn Road.

Children’s vaccines elsewhere in the region

Platte County Health Department will partner with Park Hill School District to offer vaccines to younger students in the district or those who attend St. Therese School. Appointments must be made online at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212986155062054” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212986155062054.

Platte County Health Department will hold three additional clinics at the Platte City office at 212 Marshall Road. Dates are Wednesday, Nov. 10, Dec. and Dec. 15. Sign up for the Nov. 10 event at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212995884484172” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212995884484172, the Dec. 8 event at {a href=”http://hipaa.jotform.com/212995333327157” target=”_blank”}hipaa.jotform.com/212995333327157 and Dec. 15 event at hipaa.jotform.com/212995314166157.

Proof of date of birth is required and a parent must be present.

This list will be updated as clinics and more locations are made available.

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Northlander remembers Cold War start on Voice of America ship

KEARNEY — Bernie Raye is active in the Smithville American Legion Band and is a member of American Legion Post No. 626 in Gladstone and VFW Post No. 628 in Lawson. That continued dedication to these organizations is part of Raye’s military service that began almost 70 years ago.

Raye was a member of the United States Coast Guard. Growing up in Townsend, Massachusetts, the Coast Guard was big for those looking at military service, he said.

“I didn’t want to be in the Army,” he said. “My parents gave me permission and I went to enlist in February. I was told then, (the Coast Guard was) full and if I was drafted, they couldn’t help me out. I ended up getting the call in September (for the Coast Guard). Needless to say, I didn’t look forward to the mail coming during those months.”

Raye said eventually six men out of Boston took a train to Cape May, New Jersey, to begin their Coast Guard service in September 1952. After boot camp and other training, volunteers were sought for a two-year cruise.

“They were specifically looking for those with electronics experience,” he said, adding he studied electronics much of his life. “I was young. I figured this would be a way to see the world.”

Raye ended up on the Courier, a radio ship described as “the strangest ship in the world.” The tag was earned due to the ship’s unusual appearance and its unique role in providing the American government with a floating radio station that could be moved quickly all over the world. There were 80 men and 10 officers on board.

The vessel, operated for the U.S. Information Agency by the Coast Guard, featured radio towers, antennas, transmitters, transformers, generators and recording equipment as well as other electronic devices for broadcasting.

The ship transmitted Voice of America broadcasts, sharing news and stories in many languages. Voice of America began broadcasting in 1942 to combat Nazi propaganda.

“While the Korean War was going on, the Cold War was also heating up,” Raye said. “At that time, the Cold War was a war of words. It was propaganda on both sides.”

The Courier departed Washington, D.C. in early March 1952, where Raye remembers the ship’s dedication being given by President Harry S. Truman.

After departure, it was off to Norfolk, Virginia. The vessel also went on to Venezuela, Columbia and through the Panama Canal.

“That first run was a shakedown cruise,” he said. “We did some broadcasting to South America. Then we went back to New York. We all thought we were heading to Korea, but gears shifted and we ended up in the Mediterranean Sea. There was a Voice of America base in Tangiers so we could help out with those broadcasts.”

From late August 1952 to late July 1953, the Courier set up near Rhodes, Greece. During that time, Raye had a chance to visit Rome and Naples.

“Greece gave us permission to broadcast in 16 languages,” he said. “We were 19- to 22-year-old kids sharing messages all over Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It was pretty amazing.”

In addition to broadcasting transmitters — a 150-kilowatt medium wave transmitter and two, 35-kilowatt short wave transmitters — there was also a five-kilowatt short wave transmitter on board, which could be used for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications.

“We were spoiled,” Raye said. “The ship had air conditioning. We had regular bunks with good mattresses. We were treated first class. We had hot, quality meals. The electronics technicians worked in three shifts — two operating shifts and one maintenance. It felt a lot like a civilian job as I was on for eight hours a day.”

The other impressive feature on the ship came with the helium-filled barrage balloon that supported the medium wave transmitter.

“We had to chase the giant balloon into Turkey,” he said. “There was a storm and it got away. That thing was 69 by 35 feet in size. They had been used in World War II.”

Raye stayed in the service through the end of September 1954. Later, he married his wife Norma and ended up working for TWA, which brought him to Gladstone and then Kearney. After a short stint with the airline company installing radar, he then spent 40 years with Wilcox Electric as a field engineer. The job took him to South America, Africa and Europe as well as to air bases in North America.

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Smithville wine walk Saturday
  • Updated

SMITHVILLE — The annual wine walk presented by Smithville Main Street District will be Saturday, Nov. 13, throughout the downtown Smithville area off Main Street. This year’s event also features a Christmas market. The market runs from 3 to 7 p.m. with wine tasting starting at 4 p.m. Tickets are needed for tastings, but not shopping.

Described as “a beautiful evening of shopping all of our local brick-and-mortar stores while you sip” by the Main Street District, the wine walk and market will feature vendors selling all kinds of goodies in time for holiday shopping.

In addition to offering wines to taste and bottles to purchase, whiskey by the glass, beers, soda and cigars will also be available for purchase.

“With each ticket purchase, you will receive 10 tasting tickets and a wine glass,” states a release. Proceeds benefit the Main Street District, a nonprofit organization dedicated to local businesses.

Event check-in will be at Chop’s BBQ and Catering’s event space in the 100 block of East Main St. To learn more and purchase tickets, search “Wine Walk & Christmas Market — Smithville Main Street District” on Facebook.

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Kearney officer fired after pleading guilty to sodomy charges

KEARNEY — Nearly a year after being charged, former Kearney police officer Alan B. Hale pleaded guilty in Clinton County to two counts of felony statutory sodomy, according to court records. His guilty plea prompted Kearney city leaders to fire Hale Wednesday, Nov. 3. The officer had been on unpaid leave since last November.

“Since Nov. 18, 2020, Mr. Hale’s employment status has been unpaid administrative leave. In light of the recent guilty pleas by Mr. Hale to felony charges in Clinton County, the Board of Aldermen has authorized his termination effective immediately,” states a city release from Administrator Jim Eldridge.

According to the statement of probable cause, Hale was accused of assaulting three children ranging in age from 8 to 11 at the time of the crimes between January 2002 and December 2005. The crimes were committed at a residence near Cameron in Clinton County, where the children were in Hale’s custody, according to court records. The incidents occurred prior to Hale’s hiring as an officer with the city of Kearney.

When the allegations surfaced last fall, Hale was first placed on paid leave, that changed to unpaid leave when he was arrested and could no longer perform the duties of a police officer.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 4, 2022.