Families looking forward to end of pandemic at Dayton Children’s COVID vaccine clinic

More than 100 kids were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday night at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s first clinic for kids 5 years and older.

Parents were overjoyed to finally protect their children against this deadly disease. Kids were also excited to get the shot and looking forward to the day they could get back to normal — see their friends and family, play sports and do other activities.

Thea Schickel, 6, described life during the pandemic as “boring” and getting the shot as “cool.” The Dayton resident said she wasn’t scared, and she felt good afterward.

“We wanted to get all of our kids vaccinated right away,” Thea’s mom, Jana Bennett, said. “We felt like it was good for the protection of the whole community, and it enables our family to go and do more of the things we love doing that we haven’t been able to do so much during the pandemic.”

Last week, federal regulators approved the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. It was a day many parents, particularly parents of high-risk children, had been waiting for.

“We think it’s important for people to get out and get the vaccination, and we just want to protect as many people in the community as possible, and obviously protect Joy as much as possible,” said Paul Minor of Oakwood.

His daughter, Joy Minor, 9, got the vaccine on Monday. Joy is at increased risk of developing severe complications if she catches COVID-19 because she has Down syndrome.

Joy’s mom, Jessica Minor, said they felt safe getting their child vaccinated.

“We respect the science behind it,” she said. “And we know that people have worked really hard to make this safe and efficient and effective. Our entire family is vaccinated … We just feel this is the best thing for Joy right now.”

Pediatricians and health experts nationwide say the benefits of the coronavirus vaccine for young children outweigh the extremely rare and mild risks of the shot. It is also crucial children are vaccinated widely to protect them, reach herd immunity and get their lives back to normal, experts say.

To parents who might be on the fence about getting their child vaccinated, Paul Minor said: “I think it’s just really important to take into consideration not only their risk, but everybody’s risk in the community, and let’s try to protect each other and love each other.”

Joy said she was happy and excited to get the shot, even though the jab itself brought some tears.

“I’m really excited for Joy to get the shot,” said Joy’s 14-year-old brother, Jay. “I can tell that she’s really excited to go out and play with her friends again. She’s really missed it the last few years here.”

Dayton Children’s is offering clinics for kids 5 years and older at the following locations and times:

  • Dayton Children’s main campus, 1 Children’s Plaza in Dayton, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 20
  • Dayton Children’s south campus, 333 W. Tech Road, Miamisburg, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday
  • University of Dayton Arena, 1801 Edwin C. Moses Blvd., Dayton, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14

Appointments are required. Visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to make an appointment with Dayton Children’s or other local providers.

Parents are welcome to get vaccinated at the Dayton Children’s clinics with their kids. Specialized staff is available to help children who have sensory needs.

Chad Meyers, director of ambulatory pharmacy at Dayton Children’s, said appointments are filling up fast.

So far, over 10,000 children ages 5 to 11, over 1% of the age group, have received their first dose statewide, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Children 5 to 11 years of age receive one-third of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine dose that adults and adolescents received. The two-dose series is administered three weeks apart.

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