SALEM (CBS) – It took just a second and nine-year-old Louis Morais was done with dose one of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. The moment was 20 months in the making for his mom.
“I’m so excited. I’m so excited. It’s like I get to take a breath,” said Phoebe Morais.
Mass General Brigham’s vax bus parked outside Bentley Elementary in Salem Tuesday morning for the first of several clinics to be held at schools in Salem.
“It’s exciting. It’s a game-changer,” said Dr. Stephen Zrike, the superintendent of Salem Public Schools. “We want to be at 80 percent, 90 percent or higher for staff and students.”
The goal of having clinics at schools with the vax bus is to make vaccinations more convenient and comfortable for parents and their kids.
“It was perfect. It was easy,” said Chris O’Keefe, who brought his five-year-old son, Anthony, to get his shot before school started.
Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine is rolling out as districts continue to deal with COVID-19 outbreaks. At South Elementary School in Andover, 24 kids have tested positive over the past week.
Salem is also seeing an uptick in cases.
“After Halloween, not surprisingly, we’ve seen higher numbers in the last week and a half of cases,” said Dr. Zrike.
The timing of these clinics is also crucial because of the colder weather and holidays.
“We actually get to celebrate Thanksgiving together with all the cousins,” said Phoebe Morais.
And for these kids, getting the shot means, getting back to being kids.
“Seeing more of my family because I’ve just seen one of my cousins,” said eight-year-old Grace Donoghue. “Since I got the COVID shot I’ll be able to see them.”
“Probably being able to go out a lot more often without having to worry as much,” said Louis Morais.
Dr. Zrike says there has been a high demand for the school clinics and he’s reminding parents there are also options to get kids vaccinated through pharmacies at CVS and Walgreens and at doctor’s offices.