According to the state health department, by 10 a.m. Thursday, nearly 5,000 Vermonters aged 12-25 made appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
“I’m going to cry. I have never cried when my children have had vaccines before. She just kept saying, ‘What time? When can I go,’” said pediatrician Colleen Moran of Lamoille Health Partners.
One day after the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for young teens, Moran’s 12-year-old daughter was able get a walk-in appointment at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center.
“I feel really good, I’m excited. It’s a little bit sore in the arm but it feels good,” said Moran’s daughter, Ellie.
Moran says she and other pediatricians have been seeing young patients contract the virus and experience long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.
“Over 4,000 children in Vermont have tested positive for COVID to date, and I’m so excited to protect my child,” said Timberlane Pediatrics’ Dr. Denise Aronzon.
She made an appointment for her daughter on opening day. Her daughter will be getting the shot on her 12th birthday.
“For so many kids in this age group, they have missed this formative year of being with their peers and growing up some,” said Aronzon.
Ellie says she got the shot to protect herself and those around her.
“It’s kind of like the solution to COVID. It’s like our one shot at kind of getting rid of it,” she said.
In fact, that message is part of a campaign the state launched in April. People submitted 160 videos and photos to express what getting vaccinated means to them.
“And we found one of the biggest themes was being able to hug people and be close to people,” said Deputy Health Commissioner Tracey Dolan.
She says parents can register their children through a state health department or pharmacy clinic. Next week, some schools will begin hosting vaccination clinics.
“The vaccine means a lot more freedom. I can do a lot more things I used to be able to do. It will feel nice to feel like I’m one of the first people in my age group to get it, so I think that’s cool,” said Ellie.