D.C. parents make sure kids get the vax

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With the roll out of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11, children in the District are beginning to get vaccinated as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

By Katia Pechenkina
Special to the AFRO

Since the D.C. officials have scheduled several walk-in clinics for 5-to-11-year-olds to get their coronavirus shots, many District’s parents have been lining up at pop-up vaccination cities throughout the city.

On Friday in Kingman Park, parents started lining up on Gales Street N.E. shortly after 2 p.m. When Rhondee Baldi arrived at the vaccine site at Friendship Blow Pierce Elementary and Middle School in Ward 7, she was the second person in line. Baldi said she tried to get the vaccine for her daughter at a nearby Safeway, but they did not have them just yet.

It was her day off, that’s why she was able to drive from Hillcrest to bring her 5 years old daughter, Justice, who was a little shy and afraid of the pinch, to get her shot.

“The reason why we’re getting this is because we can resume more activity. We can also be around our extended family and feel more comfortable without our masks,” said Baldi.

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The pediatric vaccine is safe and effective at preventing symptoms of coronavirus, according to The Centers for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children receive one third of the adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinating children may help protect family members and prevent the spread of the virus in the community, as well as help keep children from getting seriously ill if they do get infected with coronavirus.

Baldi said her family has not been on a plane since the pandemic started. Getting her daughter vaccinated would make her more comfortable taking a flight for Christmas vacation in Florida to see extended family.

Sarah and Blake Edwards got to the line shortly after 3 p.m. with their 5 and 8-year-old sons Timothy and Benjamin. The family has been avoiding indoor activities that involve large gatherings and going back to school this fall was the first time since the pandemic started that their children resumed being around other kids indoors.

“This is just one added layer of protection,” said Sarah Edwards.

“It will give us that extra assurance, as we are planning to travel for the Christmas holiday,” said Blake Edwards. He added that they chose this vaccine walk-up site because of its proximity to their house.

On Nov. 12, D.C. City Administrator Kevin Donahue announced on Twitter that the District has held at least one vaccination site in each Ward, with a total of 15 across the city. According to Donahue, the total number of children who got their first coronavirus vaccine at those locations was 3,076. He also said that information on how many children got vaccinated at other locations would become available within the next week.

Two hundred and fifty doses were available at each of the District’s walk-in pediatric clinics, according to the local government.

Children can also get vaccinated at pediatrician’s offices, grocery stores and pharmacies across the city and community-based pop-up clinics.

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