UPMC Hamot hosts COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11

Your Local Vaccine HQ

After a long wait for parents of school-age children, the first COVID-19 vaccine shots went into arms of kids at UPMC Hamot. This comes after the CDC director approved the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.

200 doses arrived at UPMC Hamot hospital on Wednesday just in time for their first clinic. Those doses were quickly used up as more than 100 families showed up with their kids to get vaccinated.

Staff at the hospital held their first pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinic, administering more than 100 Pfizer doses to kids ages 5 to 11 years old. Families say this is something they wanted to do to keep their family safe.

“It feels good to protect them against COVID. It’s one less thing that I have to worry about,” said Anissa Letto, an Erie parent.

One family says they have been waiting for this day for a long time. 7-year-old Jackson Theiss has Crohn’s disease and wants to do everything he can to stay safe.

“I just didn’t want to get COVID. I mean, COVID can put people in a lot of danger and I just wanted to be safe,” said Jackson Theiss, 7.

“Jackson is currently immunocompromised, he has Crohn’s disease. When his older siblings got the vaccine, he knew he wanted to get it then,” said Angela Theiss, Erie parent.

After receiving the first dose, kids will sit in the waiting area for at least 10 minutes before they can leave as a safety precaution.

David Gibbons, President of UPMC Hamot, says vaccinating kids will help continue to keep everyone in Erie safe.

“The more people that we vaccinate, certainly the better for the community,” said David Gibbons, President, UPMC Hamot. “More protection for the children, also protection for people who are elderly people who are immunocompromised.”

The family says they are hoping to inspire others to get the Pfizer pediatric vaccine.

“You know, I wish more parents would come out and get their children vaccinated. I don’t think they understand that the younger age group are the ones being affected more these days,” said Theiss.

Children will be back in three weeks to receive their second dose of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine.

UPMC Hamot will be receiving more doses of the vaccine soon. The next clinic will be Monday.

To register for an appointment or for more information, click here.

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