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'It barely even hurt': Cincinnati Children's begins to vaccinate kids ages 5 to 11 against COVID-19

Girl in green dress holds a handwritten sign reading "I got my covid vaccine now it's your turn!"
Cincinnati Children's
Verity, age 8, holds up a sign after getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Cincinnati Children's put Pfizer's COVID vaccine into the arms of children ages 5-11 Wednesday for the first time in a non-clinical trial setting.

The medical center held its first vaccine clinic on its Avondale campus. So far, nearly 1,500 children ages 5 to 11 years old have been scheduled to receive the Pfizer COVID vaccine through Nov. 27 at Cincinnati Children’s locations.

About 400 kids received the shot Wednesday - and many eagerly. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Vaccine Research Center Director Robert Frenck, MD, said on Thursday's Cincinnati Edition that kids have been exited.

"They know that the world has been turned upside down and that the vaccines are the way to help us get back to normal," he said.

Dr. Patty Manning-Courtney, Children's chief of staff, was present during Wednesday's clinic. "The kids have said - genuinely - they are so excited, they are so happy, this is a day they've been waiting for," she says in a video shared by Cincinnati Children's. "It's the feeling we had at the beginning of the vaccine rollout. There's a tremendous sense of relief and gratitude and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It's been really nice."

Verity, 8, shared her reason for getting vaccinated. "I told my friend Kate that I want to get the vaccine for everybody and that I want everybody to be safe."

Gus, age 10, sucked on a lollipop as he received his shot. Afterward, he got to take home a stuffed animal. "It barely even hurt," he said.

cincinnati childrens vaccinates kids
Cincinnati Children's
Gus, 10, gets his dose of Pfizer's COVID vaccine at Cincinnati Children's Avondale campus.

In addition to free stuffies, therapy dog Margo was on hand to comfort kids as they received their shot.

cincinnati children's therapy dog margo
Cincinnati Children's

Future vaccine clinics will be held at the Avondale location, as well as at other Cincinnati Children’s locations. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, and again on Saturday, Nov. 13. Appointments are also available at UC Health and the Cincinnati Health Department.