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What Greater Lansing kids have to say about getting their COVID vaccines

Sisters Juniper, 10, Evelyn, 8, and Olivia, 5, pose for a picture after getting their first COVID-19 vaccine doses at East Lansing High School on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.
Sarah Lehr
Ten-year-old Juniper, 8-year-old Evelyn and 5-year-old Olivia Caballero pose for a picture outside East Lansing High School after the sisters got their first doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021.

A few cried. Some celebrated with stickers and candy. Others said they're excited to eventually stop wearing masks.

The first kid-sized doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine are being given out across the country after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the use of the vaccine earlier this month for children ages 5 to 11. Previously, the vaccines had only been approved for people 12 and over.

At East Lansing High School, appointments for children's COVID shots Tuesday filled up within an hour of becoming available. Close to 200 kids rushed to get the jab at the clinic hosted by the Ingham County Health Department.

Among them was six-year-old Kirby Repko. Kirby said he knew the vaccine would "get away all the germs," but felt some butterflies before his afternoon appointment

"I'm a little nervous," he said.

Eight-year-old Evelyn Caballero admitted she cried "a little" after getting vaccinated, although she put on a brave face in front of her 5-year-old sister, Olivia, who also got vaccinated at ELHS.

Heath Doblas-Burt says the COVID vaccine "hurt a little bit" and was comparable to his flu shot. The 8-year-old offered advice for other kids seeking distraction as they roll up their sleeves.

"Hold your muscles so you don't feel a thing," he said. "Squeeze your hands and bite your teeth."

For Dalia Fermaglich, 11, the process was "really fun."

She's excited to eventually get her second dose and be "majorly" protected from the coronavirus.

"I'm really happy because now I'll be able to you know, see my friends and stuff inside," she said.

Heath also looks forward to things getting back to normal.

"I guess I could wear my mask off," he said. "It's going to be a good life."

Sarah Lehr is a politics and civics reporter for WKAR News.
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