First Clark County children 5-11 get COVID vaccine: ‘Today has filled my spirit’

The Clark County Combined Health District vaccinated its first group of children aged 5-11 against the coronavirus on Thursday.

“To see the kids come in today has filled my spirit,” said Charles Patterson, the county’s health commissioner. “To have the opportunity to offer the protection to kids, and know they’re vaccinated is a great point in time.”

The Centers for Disease Control approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 for children in that age group on Tuesday. A total of 97 children aged 5-11 had appointments scheduled with the health district for Thursday at the district’s 110 W. Leffel Lane vaccine distribution center.

The first pediatric patients of the health district were Zaedyn Urbanas, 5, and Audrina Bolin, 8.

Their mother, Tirzah Bolin, said Urbanas was exposed to COVID-19 after his father tested positive for the virus. The boy may have some medical issues “for the long haul” as a result, and she wanted to see both her children vaccinated against the virus “to protect them,” she said.

Bolin and her husband even went to the lengths of signing up for every trial for the vaccine within a 500 mile radius. Bolin received her booster dose of Pfizer, along with her children’s first doses of the vaccine.

“I’m very pro-vaccine,” she said. “And I’m very excited.”

In Clark County as of Thursday afternoon, 3,735 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among people aged 0-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 12 hospitalizations and no deaths reported. In Champaign County, 971 cases have been reported in the same age bracket, with nine hospitalizations and no deaths.

Natalie Driscoll also brought in her three children — Olivia, 11, CeCe, 9 and Declan, 6 — to receive their first doses of the vaccine on Thursday.

Olivia Driscoll, who is a student at Northwestern Elementary, said she was excited to get vaccinated.

“I just want everything to feel normal again,” she said.

Driscoll said she and her husband, Dan, were excited for her children to be vaccinated.

“We decided from the beginning of all of this to follow the science and medical guidance from our doctors and other health leaders,” she said.

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