'They'll be safe': Kids COVID-19 vaccination clinics open this weekend in Marin County

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of young kids are rolling up tiny sleeves this weekend for a COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics are being held across the Bay Area for children ages 5-11, just days after the CDC gave emergency use authorization to the kid-size shot.

Aidan Bonfante,9, from Larkspur just got his first COVID-19 vaccine shot, he says it didn't hurt a bit.

"I felt a slight poke, kinda nice to know I'm almost safe from Covid," said Aiden.

His dad Terry says the whole family is now a step closer to being fully vaccinated.

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"It's a big sigh of relief I guess, it's not the end, we're finally feeling we have something to fight with," said Bonfante.

Organizers say this county-run clinic at Miller Creek Middle School in San Rafael is giving about 1,000 shots to kids ages 5-11 this weekend, like 9-year-old Sierra Gaspar.

"I wasn't nervous or scared, everyone was telling me it hurts less than a flu shot, I didn't feel anything," she said.

"We've been waiting for this forever, I'm a nurse as well, dealing on the front lines .. finally feeling they'll be safe," said parent Susanah Gaspar.

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Nurses wore funny headbands, played cartoons on tv monitors, even brandished light sabers to make kids feel safe.

There were lots of brave faces and a few tears with teddy bears offering their support.

Marin County has an ambitious goal of getting s about 75 percent of all kids 5-11 in the county fully vaccinated by year's end. That's about 15,000 kids.

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"That's going to be a game changer for us, the virus is going to have a harder time finding suseptable people if more of us are vaccinated," said Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.

A vaccine clinic was also happening at Canal Alliance, a non-profit outreach serving low income and immigrant families.

Esteban Dzul and his cousin Angel Ruiz were in line for a shot with their moms.

"I don't want to spread sickness around the world," said Angel.

About 300 shots were given here Saturday. Two other kids clinics were happening in San Rafael.

"It means protection and keeping our loved ones safe," said parent Ira Fong.

Most vaccine clinic appointments booked up fast for the next two weekends, county officials say new shipments of kid-size doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive next week.

"So if parents are eager to get kids vaccinated, they should keep looking because there will be more appointments opening up," said Willis.

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