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We Know Kids

The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic November 13th for ages 5-11 years 

We are excited to be part of a collaborative Westport Covid-19 Vaccine clinic to be held Saturday November 13th at the Staples High School Field House in Westport. Willows Pediatrics, along with Bay Street Pediatrics, Village Pediatrics, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) and the town of Westport school district are co-sponsoring a Covid-19 vaccine clinic November 13th followed by another clinic Saturday December 4th for the second vaccine dose. 

Date and Time:

Saturday November 13, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm for Dose 1
Saturday December 4, 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm for Dose 2

Who may sign up:

Children ages 5 years through 11 years who are patients of any of the three pediatric practices in Westport AND children who are students in the Westport school system who are not patients at a Westport pediatric practice.


Staples High School Field House (Westport, CT) 

How do I sign up?

Click this link  to sign up. Be sure to sign up for both the November 13th and December 4th dates (click “Next” at the bottom of the signup site to advance to the December date). 

Please Note:

  • Appointments are limited, please sign up as soon as possible.
  • The pre-vaccination patient authorization form is available on the signup site under “Related Files”.
  • Please print this form for each child and bring it with you to each clinic.  

You can also locate sites giving the Covid-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11 though the CT Vaccine portal

Please do not hesitate to call us if you have any questions. We are proud to work as part of community wide team to keep our children healthy. Please note all children will need to remain on-site for 15 minutes of observation after they receive their vaccine.  

Helpful Links:

For appointment sign up:


For the CT Vaccine Portal: 



Willows Pediatrics Flu Administration Schedule (2021)*

This year due to COVID-19 and Social Distance Rules ALL CLINICS WILL BE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY


Please download and fill out the 2021 Injectable Flu Shot administration sheet (link below). If you are unable to do so, we will have blank copies when you arrive.


Please fill out a Flu Shot administration form for each child and BRING IT WITH YOU WHEN YOU COME FOR YOUR FLU VACCINE . (If someone other than a parent/guardian is bringing a child in for the flu vaccine, a written note giving permission to give the vaccine signed by a parent will also be required.)

  • Drive Thru Clinics held 1 – 5 pm
    • Tuesday 10/19
    • Thursday 10/21
    • Tuesday 10/26
    • Friday 10/29
  • Drive Thru Clinics held 9 am – noon
    • Tuesday 11/2


You must be a patient of Willows Pediatric Group who has previously been seen in our office, and show a valid insurance card or be prepared to pay at time of service.

Please check our website for any last minute updates on the “Bulletin Board” or under “News” at www.willowspediatrics.com

*Please note all dates above are subject to availability of supply

Covid-19 Testing Sites in our Community

Below is information on where families can obtain Covid-19 testing in our community. This list is not inclusive of all sites in our area, but includes sites many of our families have used. For the latest information and hours of operation, please call the testing site.

Please note:
-Covid-19 rapid refers to the “quick” test. The rapid test is an antigen test that indicates if specific proteins on the surface of the virus are present.
-Covid-19 PCR testing refers to the non-“quick” test. PCR is a molecular test that indicates if RNA (genetic material) of the Covid-19 virus is present. The time taken to get results can vary.


Willows Pediatric Group
1563 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 203-319-3939

NOTES (please note, we can only offer testing to our patients)
Willows offers Covid-19 testing to our patients of any age who are asymptomatic, and to our patients of any age who are symptomatic. We test asymptomatic patients by appointment as outside “car visits”. We see symptomatic patients by appointment in areas of our office that are physically separated from the rest of the office and accessed by a separate entrance. Please call with questions or to make an appointment. Testing, both Rapid Antigen testing (done in our office) and PCR testing (sent to an outside lab), is done on weekdays and weekends during our regular office hours.

St. Vincent’s – Hartford Health Care
47 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 833-621-0600

Pre-registration with Hartford Health Care
No order/prescription required
Children 6 months of age and older
Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Receive results through MyChart app or by phone


DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield
525 Tunxis Hill Cut Off, Fairfield, CT 06825
Phone: 203-301-8483
Fax: 203-870-1976

Walk-in only, no appointments
Performs Covid-19 rapid and Covid-19 PCR test
No order/prescription required
Children over 2 years of age
May pre-register online

Yale New Haven Health
140 Mill Plain Road, Fairfield, 06824

Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Self-schedule appointment on-line

Yale Urgent Care – Fairfield
309 Stillson Road, Fairfield, 06825
Phone: 203-331-1924
Fax: 203-331-1450

Performs Covid-19 PCR test
Prescription required
Please call your Willows nurse/PA/physician


Community Health Center
Drive through at Veteran’s Park
42 Seaview Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06855
No order,prescription, or appointment needed

All ages, receive results through CHC’s on-line portal
Performs Covid-19 PCR test

DOCS Urgent Care – Norwalk
677 Connecticut Ave
Norwalk, CT 06854
PHONE: 203-298-9752
FAX: 203-301-8483

See above under DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield


St. Vincent’s – Hartford Health Care
2979 Main Street, Bridgeport

See above under Westport

Optimus Health Care
982 E. Main Street
Bridgeport, CT
Phone: 203-696-3260

Performs Covid-19 PCR test, No prescription or appointment required

DOCS Urgent Care – Bridgeport
1677 E Main St
Bridgeport CT, 06608
Phone: 203-612-7929
Fax: (203) 612-7931

See above under DOCS Urgent Care – Fairfield

Miscellaneous- CVS Minute Clinic

Please go to the link below:

Only ages 18 and over
Check website above for locations and hours

Make Every Bite Count – Updated Nutritional Guidelines

What people eat and drink have an impact on their health. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services recently released their updated reference, “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025”. Reflecting the current body of nutrition science, the guidelines examine the relationship between diet and health across all life stages, from infancy to older adulthood. The goal of the guidelines is to inform, based on evidence from scientific studies, how eating healthier can help reduce the risk of diet-related chronic disease including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The full version of the guidelines can be found here. The guidelines cover areas that parents frequently have questions on or are concerned about. Some of these areas include:

Birth to 23 months:

  • Introducing infants to nutrient-dense complementary foods at about 6 months of age
  • Assessing readiness for beginning to eat solid foods
  • Introducing infants to potentially allergenic foods
  • Establishing a healthy diet for toddlers including recommended intake ranges of various food groups

Children and Adolescents age 2-18 years:

  • Tables showing recommend food group intake ranges broken down by age
    • Ages 2 through 4 years
    • Ages 5 through 8 years
    • Ages 9 through 13 years
    • Ages 14 through 18 years
  • Offering nutrient-dense foods and beverages at an early age to help children develop and maintain healthy dietary patterns

While food choice is only one part of staying healthy, this report is a welcome addition to the body of knowledge that is available in terms of approaching nutrition from infancy to young adulthood.

Dietary guidelines for Americans 2020 - 2025

Covid-19 Vaccine Information

Woman in office getting Covid19 vaccine. Information from Willows Pediatrics.Many of our parents have received one of the three available Covid-19 vaccines, and families are looking forward to having their adolescent or young adult receive a Covid-19 vaccine too. As of now, the youngest age an individual can receive a Covid-19 vaccine is 16 years.

The Pfizer vaccine (two doses 3 weeks apart) is authorized for people age 16 years and older. The Moderna vaccine (two doses 4 weeks apart) is authorized for ages 18 years and older. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine (one dose only) is authorized for ages 18 years and older.

All individuals receiving a Covid-19 vaccine must receive the vaccine at a site specified by the State of Connecticut. Currently, individual medical practices, e.g. Willows Pediatrics, are not included in the State program to administer Covid-19 vaccines. Thus, we cannot give your adolescent or young adult a Covid-19 vaccine even if he or she is eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.

Information on how to schedule Covid-19 vaccinations is available on the State of Connecticut Covid-19 vaccine website. Beginning April 1st, individuals 16 years and older who live or work in the state are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine in the State of Connecticut.

Research has shown Covid-19 vaccines are remarkably safe and effective. Clinical trials are now underway using Covid-19 vaccine in children under 16 years of age. Below are answers to some common questions, please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns:

Q.My child already had a Covid-19 infection. Should he or she still get the Covid-19 vaccine?
A.Yes! Even though having had Covid-19 may provide some protection from getting sick again, we don’t know how long that protection will last. (Please note, if you were treated for Covid-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a Covid-19 vaccine.)

Q.Are there side effects after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?
A.The most common symptoms after getting vaccinated are a mild to moderate headache, muscle aches or fatigue, and sometimes a low fever. These usually don’t last more than a day to two.

The 3 to 6 Month Zone is back

“The 3 to 6 Month Zone” is a back! After taking a break for the Covid-19 pandemic, our support group for parents of babies from three to six months of age is meeting again. The group meets every Wednesday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.  We meet outside by the picnic tables behind our office weather permitting or meet by Zoom if there is rain or the temperature is below 40 degrees. Please check our Instagram the day before for information on the meeting location.

Topics for “The 3 to 6 Month Zone” include introducing solid foods, emerging sleep habits, stages of development, safety measures, and discussions of age-appropriate activities. While an infant’s emerging social and communication skills make this a magical age, parents often find just when they thought they had their newborns figured out … they change! This paradox of a growing baby may raise questions and offer challenges, but it is also a wonderful sign and confirmation that your child is developing.

The 3 to 6 Month Zone” is led by Heather Buccigross, PA-C.  As with our newborn group, there is no charge and no appointment is necessary.

The 3-to-6 month zone is back at Willows Pediatrics

Covid-19 Testing For Asymptomatic Patients Now Available

We are happy to provide Covid-19 testing at our office for asymptomatic patients of Willows Pediatrics of any age by appointment. These appointments take place outside in our parking lot, at your car, to keep everyone safe.

Asymptomatic patients include anyone who wants Covid-19 testing, but does not have symptoms at the time. This includes testing for travel clearance or for exposure to a positive contact.

Asymptomatic covid testing at Willows PediatricsWe offer both PCR and rapid antigen testing and can help you decide if one or both are better depending on your situation.

Can my child get tested at Willows if he or she is sick?

Of course! If your child is sick, we are available to examine him or her in our office and conduct any workup needed including rapid Covid-19 Antigen testing and PCR testing.

Please remember: It is important to schedule an exam if your child is unwell. We continue to find cases of strep, mono, ear infections, and many other treatable non-covid illnesses in our patients who present with signs and symptoms of illness.


A Tribute to our Founders

This past year saw the passing of the two founders of Willows Pediatric Group, Dr. Albert Beasley and Dr. Jack Shiller. We are honored to follow in their footsteps; both men dedicated their careers not only to taking care of children, adolescents, and families for generations, but also to the improvement and well-being of our entire community.

Dr. Beasley came to Westport 65 years before he passed away last June at age 96. Similarly, Dr. Shiller came to the area when Westport was a small town first known as a haven for artists and other creative professionals. Dr. Shiller passed away in January at age 92. Dr. Beasley and Dr. Shiller joined together in 1973 to form Willows Pediatric Group.

Dr. Shiller was active on the staff of Norwalk Hospital, where he started the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and later served as interim chief of pediatrics. He maintained his academic ties to Babies Hospital (Columbia Presbyterian) as part of the teaching staff, and helped found the Westport Weston Health District.

Dr. Beasley had long standing ties to local students and schools through his inspired support of the Staples Tuition Grants for over 45 years. Dr. Beasley was also associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine. In addition, he immersed himself in community work as a pediatrician for the Intercommunity Camp, as a member of the board of directors for the United Way, and as a trustee of Earthplace, where he organized the Green Earth series on health and the environment.

We are proud of the deep roots Willows Pediatrics has in our community, roots first planted by Dr. Beasley and Dr. Shiller. We are also grateful for Al and Jack’s years of service, education, and dedicated patient care that set the standard we strive to continue to this day.

Remembering Dr. Shiller, Willow's Pediatrics  Remembering Dr. Beasley, Willow's Pediatrics

Willows Baby Group Thrives Outside

The intrepid members of our baby group don’t let the winter chill slow them down! On a recent Tuesday, with temperatures above 40 degrees, many of our new moms (and dads too!) met outside to discuss questions about newborn care and enjoy each other’s company. On top of the support and knowledge the group provides, our baby group is a great opportunity to meet new parents with similar age infants. The shared baby group experience has led to bonding and networking among the parents who join us, including finding time for outdoor walks and socially distanced outdoor get-togethers other days of the week.

Our baby group met outside here at Willows Pediatrics due to the pandemic and covid-19
Led by Laurie Rubel, APRN and certified lactation consultant, our baby group meets by the picnic tables behind our office, weather permitting (no rain and temperature above 40 degrees) every Tuesday at 11 am. Babies are bundled up and are part of the team. In case of rain or temperatures below 40 degrees the group meets over Zoom. Please check our Instagram the day before for an update on the group’s location.

Change in Quarantine Guidelines

As you may have heard, on December 2nd, 2020 the CDC revised the COVID-19 quarantine guidelines. The changes shorten the required quarantine after a known exposure to COVID. However, the incubation period for the virus is 2-14 days. So a 14 day quarantine is still the most effective!

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) released a statement December 16, 2020 updating the CT rules to be the same as the CDC rules.

What are the new guidelines for quarantine after COVID exposure?

The new guidelines for quarantine after an exposure are:

Option 1: 10 days quarantine, no test required

  • Self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days, if no symptoms develop, then you can stop quarantining after 10 days.
  • However, on days 10-14 follow all your usual COVID precautions – masks and distancing – AND monitor for symptoms.

Option 2: 7 days quarantine, test day 5-7

  • If testing is available, then you can get tested on day 5 or later. If your PCR or Antigen/Rapid test is negative, you can leave quarantine on day 7.
  • Again, continue to monitor for symptoms until day 14 and always follow COVID precautions.

What are the chances of becoming positive after leaving a shorter quarantine?

Covid-19 Quarantine Chart by Willows Pediatrics
This helpful table above from the CT DPH summarizes the various options and residual risk of positivity.

What are the new guidelines for travel?

There is a Travel Advisory in CT; anyone traveling into the state from states on the Advisory List is required to quarantine for 10 days. (Note the length of quarantine after travel has also been decreased.)

The Advisory List includes all states except New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. It also includes ANY international travel.

A negative PCR or Rapid/Antigen test will exempt you from quarantine. The test has to be obtained in the 72 hours prior to your return to CT or anytime following your return to CT. Wait until you get your negative result to leave quarantine.

What is Willows’ office policy regarding coming to the office?

Children against door social distancing due to covid-19

We will adopt the CDC and CT DPH guidelines for quarantine after travel and exposure for families coming to our office for “well care”. When you bring your child to our office for a well visit, it should be 10 days after a known Covid exposure or travel, or sooner if you and your child were exposed and tested negative.

Please remember if your child is sick we can accommodate you at any time! Please just let us know and we can arrange to see you child in our area reserved for “sick care”.