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Arlington clinic administers more than 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines for kids 5-11

A Massachusetts town administered 1,200 COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 on Saturday.Health officials in Arlington hosted the clinic inside the Arlington High School gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.The clinic was held just days after Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave the final seal of approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.According to Arlington Health & Human Services Director Christine Bongiorno, all of the available appointments were booked within an hour of being posted online.”We’ve been waiting for this. Very relieved,” said Julie Lovell, whose child received a dose at the clinic on Saturday.”I think this is a great step in the right direction, so it feels good to be past this milestone,” said Dan Fiori, whose 9-year-old son, Eli, got a shot.Arlington health officials made an effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine clinic child-friendly, as nurses dressed up and had pictures of sea creatures at their stations.”Some kids are a little bit anxious, but we’ve got some behavioral professionals here trying to help ease them,” said Arlington Public Health Director Natasha Waden.In addition, kids who got their shot got a chance to take a photo with a cardboard cutout of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.”I think it’s kind of cool that everyone is getting vaccinated,” said Eli Fiori.”It didn’t hurt at all. I asked, ‘Is it done?’ And they said they already put the bandage on,” said 8-year-old Nikhil Bhat.Bongiorno tweeted Friday that one-third of Arlington’s entire population of children ages 5 to 11 would be vaccinated during the clinic.In a Town Hall update on Thursday, Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said that the town expects to receive an additional 900 doses of Pfizer’s kid-size vaccine in time to start offering more vaccine clinics for children ages 5 to 11 sometime in the middle of next week.“My understanding of the whole idea is there are plenty of doses to go around to make this work, and getting them to local government was to take the pressure off the pharmacies and primary care physicians so that between those three main sources, hopefully, we’ll be able to get all the kids in that age range vaccinated that want to be vaccinated,” Chapdelaine said.Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that more than 500 locations across Massachusetts will offer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children.

A Massachusetts town administered 1,200 COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 on Saturday.

Health officials in Arlington hosted the clinic inside the Arlington High School gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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The clinic was held just days after Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gave the final seal of approval for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11.

According to Arlington Health & Human Services Director Christine Bongiorno, all of the available appointments were booked within an hour of being posted online.

“We’ve been waiting for this. Very relieved,” said Julie Lovell, whose child received a dose at the clinic on Saturday.

“I think this is a great step in the right direction, so it feels good to be past this milestone,” said Dan Fiori, whose 9-year-old son, Eli, got a shot.

Arlington health officials made an effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine clinic child-friendly, as nurses dressed up and had pictures of sea creatures at their stations.

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“Some kids are a little bit anxious, but we’ve got some behavioral professionals here trying to help ease them,” said Arlington Public Health Director Natasha Waden.

In addition, kids who got their shot got a chance to take a photo with a cardboard cutout of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

Nikhil Bhat, 8, of Arlington, Massachusetts, poses with a cardboard cutout of Dr. Anthony Fauci after receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 during a clinic held at Arlington High School on Nov. 6, 2021.

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Nikhil Bhat, 8, of Arlington, Massachusetts, poses with a cardboard cutout of Dr. Anthony Fauci after receiving a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 during a clinic held at Arlington High School on Nov. 6, 2021.

“I think it’s kind of cool that everyone is getting vaccinated,” said Eli Fiori.

“It didn’t hurt at all. I asked, ‘Is it done?’ And they said they already put the bandage on,” said 8-year-old Nikhil Bhat.

Bongiorno tweeted Friday that one-third of Arlington’s entire population of children ages 5 to 11 would be vaccinated during the clinic.

In a Town Hall update on Thursday, Arlington Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine said that the town expects to receive an additional 900 doses of Pfizer’s kid-size vaccine in time to start offering more vaccine clinics for children ages 5 to 11 sometime in the middle of next week.

“My understanding of the whole idea is there are plenty of doses to go around to make this work, and getting them to local government was to take the pressure off the pharmacies and primary care physicians so that between those three main sources, hopefully, we’ll be able to get all the kids in that age range vaccinated that want to be vaccinated,” Chapdelaine said.

Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday that more than 500 locations across Massachusetts will offer Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children.



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