Kids on P.E.I. receive first vaccinations against COVID-19

·3 min read
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison stopped into the vaccine clinic for children on Friday.   (Gabrielle Drummond/CBC - image credit)
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison stopped into the vaccine clinic for children on Friday. (Gabrielle Drummond/CBC - image credit)

One hundred and thirty children in P.E.I. received the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday — the first day the shot was available to five to 11-year-olds.

A pediatric vaccine clinic was held at the County Fair Mall in Summerside, P.E.I.

"I think it's important because it can help protect others," said 10-year-old Alex DesRoche. "I was worried that I'd get COVID and spread it to my papa … because he has cancer."

Her mom, Robin DesRosche, is happy to have gotten her daughter vaccinated.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"At any point in time, something can weigh in on your family and if you can do anything to try to prevent it, as a parent, I would," said DesRoche.

There are 13,000 kids in the five to 11 age group in the province, and 2,500 have appointments booked so far.

Madeline Goguen, 10, said she was a little nervous to get the shot, but in the end, she said it didn't hurt and was well worth it.

"I'm excited because it's been a while since I've gone on vacation," Goguen said. "It was just quick. It was a tiny pinch and that was it."

Getting the vaccine will make going to see her dad in New Brunswick less stressful, she said.

"Every time that I had to get tested I was always worried," said Goguen.

Her mother, LeAnne Weeks, shares that sense of relief.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"Now that Madeline is done, that's our whole family, and we're just excited that we feel safe now," Weeks said.

The clinic has been set up just for kids and other community clinics will be too. With decorations from the movie Frozen and a free toy with every shot, it's about making the kids feel more comfortable.

"I think kids and adults too are a little bit nervous about coming and getting needles, even if they know they really want it, and need it," said Marion Dowling, chief of nursing on P.E.I.

"We just want to make it as welcoming as possible, and try to give them a bit of privacy with the stations, so they can sit as a family unit, and have the conversation, ask any questions they might have too, and be comfortable."

PEI's chief public health officer made an appearance at the clinic on Friday. Dr. Heather Morrison said she's pleased to see so many parents booking shots for their children.

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

"I almost got goosebumps in there. There are children who are excited, there are parents who are that excited. Just to be a part of it was pretty special" Morrison said.

In a survey by the province, about 70 per cent of parents said they would get their child vaccinated, while others said they were undecided.

Morrison said she thinks word of mouth will convince many of them to sign up.

"We know it can influence others if we know that your friends have booked their vaccine," she said.

"I saw children here today wearing stickers saying, 'I got my COVID vaccine.' They will start talking amongst their friends that 'I got mine, and it feels good.'"

Steve Bruce/CBC
Steve Bruce/CBC

Five community clinics across P.E.I. are currently offering the vaccine for five to 11-year-olds.

In the new year, the plan is to set up school clinics for kids in grades four to six.

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