The Pfizer Covid vaccine was recently approved for ages 5-11. Now, vaccine appointments around Seattle are filling up with small kids as parents work to inoculate their entire households.
Abe and Calvin were able to get one.
At a Walgreens in Burien this week, the two stood at the front of the long line to the pharmacy. Not really standing, actually, but constantly wiggling and dancing around. Abe and Calvin, both 10, weren’t there for a prescription or a flu shot. They were waiting to get their first Covid vaccine dose.
“I’m usually pretty nervous when I get a flu shot,” Calvin says. “But this, I’m more excited for because it does more for me and I get to do stuff and I’m more safe.”
“…and sometimes they give out lollipops!” Abe chimes in.
Health experts say vaccinating kids is an important step to slowing the spread of the virus, while some kids say it’s important so they can get back to doing fun stuff again.
The two best friends agree that getting vaccinated is their ticket to getting back to pre-pandemic fun, like playing football and having sleepovers. They haven’t had a sleepover in more than a year. They both say they’ve been annoyed during the past couple of months watching their fully-vaccinated older siblings have friends for sleepovers, while they could not.
“Everyday when I picked Abe up from school he kept asking, ‘Do I have a shot appointment? Do I have an appointment?’” recalls Cassie Sauer, Abe’s mom.
Sauer is CEO of the Washington State Hospital Association. She says she booked the two kids’ appointments online around 3 a.m. when she “just happened to be awake and was looking for spots.” After securing the times she texted Calvin’s mom, Amy Stelljes, who was also eager to get her son vaxxed.
“You know I didn’t really have any hesitations,” Amy says with a laugh. “I really didn’t machinate on it too much. I was all in.”
Cassie and Amy say it was critical to get the boys vaccinated before Thanksgiving. Both families want to travel for the holiday and it will be their first plane trips since the pandemic began. Amy half-joked that Thanksgiving planning this year wasn’t just about who brings which dish, but if the kids have their shots and grandparents have their boosters.
When it was finally time to get their shots, Abe and Calvin excitedly held up their sleeves for the pharmacist. Each got their dose in about a minute and their moms got newly minted proof of vaccination cards.
Afterwards, fresh bandaids on their arms, the two boys raced to the snack aisle for electric blue colored chips. Since you have to wait around for 15 minutes anyway, might as well get some Takis.
Abe and Calvin will be back at the pharmacy in a couple of weeks for their second doses. The Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year-olds is a third the size of the version for adults.
After that, Abe says they are definitely having their first sleepover.
Health officials strongly recommend parents to get young kids vaccinated to keep schools and daycares open.
The Washington State Department of Health says that children between 5 and 11 make up nearly 40% of all Covid cases in people 18 and younger.
Cassie Sauer encourages other parents to vaccinate their kids to keep them and the community safe.
“I’m so happy my kids are in school,” Sauer says outside the pharmacy, “I don’t want them bringing Covid home. So the more protection I can give them protects me and everyone around me.”
Article Source: KUOW