Parents ‘excited’ as kids 5-11 start getting COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It has been nearly a week since federal health officials authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. 

As of Friday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said at least 1,800 kids in that age group had already received their first dose.

Deidre Weber, mother of a 6-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son, jumped at the opportunity to get her kids on the list to get vaccinated. They each received their first dose Saturday at Walgreens. 

“They feel great. No signs or symptoms,” Weber said. “We had been waiting for a very long time to vaccinate the kids and we were really excited that the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) approved it.”

The announcement from the CDC was more than just welcome news to her family: It was also an early a gift ahead of the holidays.  

“We did a Zoom Thanksgiving last year and this year we do plan to be out together. Everyone in our family is vaccinated so we are going to have a small gathering,” she said. “The kids can see their cousins, who are also vaccinated, which is exciting.” 

The Kent County Health Department began administering doses on Thursday. As of Monday afternoon, 57 doses had been administered to kids ages 5 to 11:

  • Nine doses to 5-year-olds
  • Five doses to 6-year-olds
  • 40 doses to 7–10-year-olds
  • Three doses to 11-year-olds

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health vaccinated approximately 300 kids in the 5 to 11 age group on Saturday during a clinic at Lake Middle School. 

“We are encouraged to see so many families obtaining COVID-19 vaccinations for their children already,” a spokesperson said. 

With the county’s mask mandate for schools lifting Jan. 2, OCDPH hopes many more families will consider vaccination for their kids to give them the highest level of protection before masks will no longer be required in the classroom.

Weber said neither of her kids have contracted the coronavirus and she hopes the vaccine can prevent it in the future, especially as they get back into sports.

“As we move to indoor soccer this winter, we want to make sure they are safe and they are keeping others safe,” she said.

There are appointments available at clinics around across the state. Dates, times and registration information can be found by visiting VaccinateWestMI.com or miOttawa.org. Grand Rapids Public Schools also expects to announce information about vaccine clinics for kids ages 5 and up in the coming days.

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