MIAMI (CBS4) Children as young as 5 began getting the COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s safe for kids to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Select Publix, CVS, and Walmart pharmacies now administer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to children ages 5-11. Find pharmacy locations administering the pediatric vaccine.READ MORE: Arrest Made In The Death Of Palm Beach Gardens Teen Ryan Rogers
Select Winn-Dixie pharmacies are also offering the Pfizer vaccine doses to the 5-11 set. Click Here for availability.
Broward and Miami-Dade public schools are also going to make vaccines available at some of their schools. Parents will need to sign off before kids can get their shots.
Sonia Murugesan, 9, was among the first children in South Florida to get the first shot over the weekend.
“I was thinking I just have to get through it and then once I did I was free from COVID,” she said. “I was excited because I didn’t want to get COVID but I also didn’t want to get a shot.”
But, Sonia said she knew she had to be brave because the risk of possibly catching the coronavirus was not one she was not willing to take.
“It’s really dangerous because a lot of people aren’t getting the vaccine and they are getting really sick,” she said.READ MORE: FIU's Dr. Aileen Marty On Omicron Variant: 'It Looks Like It's Going To Be Very Significantly Virulent And Very Transmissible'
Her mom, Dr. Geeta Nayyar, said COVID is now a disease for the unvaccinated. She added with everyone else in the family fully immune, she worried about how daughter who was previously not eligible for the shot.
“Remember if you’re vaccinated, you can still carry the virus and be asymptomatic. So my biggest concern was coming home and giving it to my child, so 100 percent, and the guilt of that and not to mention the ramifications of what happened to her, so me and dad were absolutely terrified, worried, so now we are just relieved,” she said.
The Biden administration announced 15 million doses of the vaccine are now being made available for children 5-11 years old.
Dr. Nayyar, who is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Miami, is encouraging other parents to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Getting the vaccine is something very critical, to getting us to the end of the pandemic, getting these kids back to school, back to sports, and back to the childhood that we had,” she said.
As for Sonia, she has advice for other children on the fence about the shot.MORE NEWS: Miami Dolphins Praise Rookies, Tua Tagovailoa's Accuracy
“It didn’t hurt, it’s just scary in the moment and if you’re afraid of needles you don’t have to worry because it’s going be fine,” she said.