Ellie Burns, 7, of Niskayuna sat in a chair inside the Karen B. Johnson Public Library Saturday afternoon — her legs swinging back and forth as she snacked on gummies.
Her mom Erin sat next to her. The two were waiting.
Ellie Burns said on a scale of one to 10, with ten hurting the worst, the shot was a nine. However, she said she was happy to get the shot.
“So I don’t get coronavirus,” she said.
Burns was one of 200 kids waiting for their first shot Saturday at Schenectady County’s first COVID vaccine clinic for kids ages 5 to 11.
The clinic, with help from other organizations, had coloring and other fun items to make the process more relaxing and keep the kids calm while they got their shot.
“It’s a very kid-friendly atmosphere,” said county Legislator Michelle Ostrelich.
There were also pediatric public health nurses on site offering ice packs that looked like little bees and vibrated to soothe sore arms, said county manager Rory Fluman.
Nurses and other staff dressed up and wore fun headgear like unicorn ears and colorful masks.
Fluman said there was also a separate room for kids that needed more space to feel comfortable.
“A lot of the kids are doing great,” he said.
After kids received their shot they also got a coupon for a free book from Whitney Book Corner.
Erin Burns said having Ellie get the shot was a huge relief.
“We’ve been trying to be really careful over the last year and a half,” Erin Burns said.
She said now that Ellie has received a shot the family is looking forward to gathering with family around the holidays.
Ellie Burns said she’s excited for play dates.
A row over sat 5-year-old Beckett Dollard — wearing a cape.
It’s his bravery cape, said his mom Natalie.
At first Beckett, of Albany, was scared to get the vaccine, he said, but then it turned out to not be so bad.
When asked how he was feeling, Beckett quickly gave a thumbs up.
They were excited when the vaccine became available, said Natalie Dollard, who administers sleep studies at St. Peter’s Sleep Center.
She said they trust the science behind the vaccine.
“We’re more than willing to be the first ones to go to show people it works,” Natalie Dollard said.
The family is now planning to see family in California and Beckett Dollard said he really wants to go to Billy Beez at Crossgates Mall.
All 60 appointments Sunday are filled. The county has 6,000 Pfizer doses and can get more every week, Fluman said. Starting Monday people won’t need an appointment for their kid to get the shot and the Pfizer doses for kids will be looped into the county’s scheduled upcoming clinics.
The county is also providing clinics at schools after hours by appointment. There are currently 16 clinics scheduled between Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 16. Eight of the clinics are already filled, said county Director of Communications Erin Roberts.
The county is continuing to seek out volunteers for its clinics.
Upcoming vaccine clinics in the county
The schedule can be found at https://www.schenectadycounty.com/COVID19/vaccine
Vaccine clinics in school districts
Volunteer at a clinic
More information and applications can be found at https://schenectadycounty.com/public-health/mrc