COLUMBUS (WCMH) – COVID-19 shots are now going into the arms of children here in central Ohio.
Pfizer doses for children ages 5 through 11 were already available to some providers in anticipation of the final step of the approval process, which came from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Tuesday.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital administered some of those first doses Wednesday. Those doses are smaller, as are the needles used to give them, than the adult vaccine.
“It’s a special dose, it’s a different dose for those kids and just like we hall all those routine childhood immunizations, this is one more to add on to really protect their child and their family,” said Nationwide Children’s Hospital Dr. Sara Bode.
The families who attended the hospital’s event were extremely excited, with both parents and children saying they couldn’t wait for this moment. Doctors said more than 2,000 families signed up in the first three hours.
Nationwide Children’s held its first pilot clinic for this newly eligible age group Wednesday – about 1 million children across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Coloring books were available, fish were shown on the big screen, and children got to wear capes, all to make them feel as comfortable as possible after getting the shot.
It was a moment 10-year-old Marin Ackerman has been waiting for: getting a bandage after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“It felt really good and I’m really excited,” she said.
Doctors said the shot is the best way children can protect themselves, their families, and their friends.
The children at the event were eager to roll up their sleeves, with some saying getting the shot did not hurt a lot.
“I’m happy because I only have one more shot to go in a couple weeks and then a couple weeks after, I’ll be ready to go and I’ll be able to have friends over to our house,” said Marco Ranalli.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s clinics are booked up through Nov. 13, with between 500 and 600 shots scheduled to be given at each clinic.
“It didn’t hurt that much and I’m glad I’m doing my part to keep myself and others save,” said Lillian Ackerman, Marin’s younger sister.
“It’s been a lot of waiting and holding tight, but this, I think, represents a movement forward and that’s great,” said John Ackerman, the girls’ father.
Just like those 12 and older, children have to wait 15 minutes after the shot to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital continues to add appointments for parents and their children. For more information, click here.
The hospital also recommends checking the state’s website to find vaccine availability.
BELOW: Doctors at Nationwide Children’s Hospital discuss plans to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine