First doses for 5-11 year olds begin in London area
The highly anticipated and long awaited first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for children began in earnest Friday at the Western Fair Agriplex. The only thing spoiling the mood was the weather
“It's very cold outside. And I'm cold” said one child waiting with his dad to go inside.
There was a line up prior to the doors opening at 11 a.m., but the excitement for kids and parents was evident
“I’m a teacher myself…I know that the kids in my class were certainly excited to tell me about the dates that they're coming in for their vaccines,” said Luis Caicco, who was bringing his two children to the vaccination site, with mixed feelings while waiting for their turn. “They say it hurts but I say it doesn’t” said the boy, “I’m a little nervous” added the girl.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit says bookings have been positive with over 8,000 children slotted to roll up their sleeves over the next couple of weeks.
“That’s over the next four weeks but the vast majority will be within the next week and two weeks” said Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Alex Summers
Many parents have jumped at the chance to book early, as the province’s positivity rate has been growing week by week.
“Really, we know that the new cases are going through the children who are under 12 and unvaccinated. So we need to get our kids vaccinated and that'll hopefully open things up,” said Chris Alcantara, whose son was among the first to arrive.
The majority of appointments over the coming weeks are being reserved for children who are eligible, at both The Agriplex and the Strathroy Community Centre
“We’re scaling up to see about 1,500 a day at the Agriplex, with 70 per cent of those as a minimum for kids,” said Summers.
The hope is, even with one dose, it will help ease the numbers going into the Holiday season, and perhaps in the New Year give kids more ability to return to more normal activities.
“Like having playdates with my friends,” said another boy excitedly waiting.
The Vaccine clinic will be running seven days a week from 11 a.n. to 6 p.m., and you can book your child’s spot using the portal found on the Health Unit's website.