East Bay tweens flock to vaccine sites as counties open up appointments

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Parents and tweens say when the word got out that a vaccine clinic outside Berkeley High School was opening up Thursday to 12-to -5-year-olds the text messages were flying furiously.

"Yesterday when they got the news they could get vaccines the screaming was insane. You could hear 20 kids screaming at once on the video chat they all live on. Whatever you were on you were blowing our eardrums," said Dan Gluesenkamp who brought his child to get vaccinated.

RELATED: US health advisers endorse Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 and up

Best friends were reunited in line for the shot. One 12-year-old said, "It's going to be really nice to see people again. And be able to hug people and stuff."
Minerva Brand, 13 years old, said she was nervous.

"Just cause it's a shot. Other than that I'm really excited."

The seventh-grader braved the line with her mom and it was over just like that. And what a relief it was.

RELATED: Health officials explain what to expect for vaccinating 12-15 year-olds

"We can all be together with more comfort and it will allow us to do more travel over the summer. And get the kids in camp without worry of exposure and risk," said mom Jen Brand.

If a parent or guardian can't accompany a teen to a vaccine site officials said that's OK. A handwritten note will suffice or a phone call to get consent.

But it wasn't so simple for some families with young teens who showed up at this vaccine site at the tice valley gym in Walnut Creek, a state-run site.

Laurie Hall came with her 15-year-old son.

RELATED: Many Bay Area 12-15 year-olds eager for Pfizer's COVID vaccine after FDA EUA

"We came here hoping we could walk in but they said they don't have the right kind of monitoring equipment for their age group and we could come tomorrow but I think will just go to another site today."
It's a last-minute scramble for clinics to be able to accommodate the 12-15-year-olds. The goal in Contra Costa County is to open up new sites at schools starting next week in Antioch and Concord.

Dr. Chris Farnitano with Contra Costa Health Services said, "Schools are trusted, community partners. There are some folks who may not want to come to a big mass vax site or to a government office but they trust their teachers and they trust their local schools."

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