Bethlehem Health Bureau says parents and children should vaccinate to avoid delta variant

Written by on July 19, 2021

Bethlehem Health Bureau director says the best way to avoid the delta variant is for parents and children to get vaccinated

By Brittany Sweeney

July 19, 2021

A member of the Philadelphia Fire Department prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site setup at a Salvation Army location in Philadelphia, Friday, March 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The delta variant is causing an increase in COVID-19 cases around the country, less so here in our area. But the Bethlehem Health Bureau is still strongly encouraging people, especially young people, to get the shot. 

Listen to the story.

The Bethlehem Health Bureau is partnering with back-to-school clinics in an effort to get more 12-17-year-olds vaccinated before school begins. 

Kristen Wenrich, health director for the city of Bethlehem, says the vaccination rate in that age group is fairly low.

“We know that, particularly in schools, individuals want to get parents and students, they want to get back to normal operations. Well, in order to do that, we need to make sure that our vaccine vaccination rates are at a certain level,” Wenrich says. 

Their focus is on getting the 12-17-year-olds vaccinated before school starts, she says.

“We typically work with them on making sure that all children are caught up with their childhood immunizations and this year, we’ll certainly be adding COVID,” Wenrich says. 

And it’s not just for children, she says, the spread of more contagious strains like the delta variant means everyone who can get the vaccine should.  

Wenrich says they were hoping vaccination approval for 5 -11-year-olds would happen prior to the start of the school year but the FDA recently announced that approval for that age group likely won’t come until mid-winter. 

She adds that although the mass vaccination clinic at Wind Creek Casino is closed — those looking to get the shot can make an appointment at the Bethlehem Health Bureau.

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