Centre Volunteers in Medicine vaccinates nearly 2,000 kids ages 5-11 this week

  • Min Xian/WPSU

(State College) – This week, Centre Volunteers in Medicine is hosting its first three COVID-19 vaccine clinics for kids ages 5-11 to get the Pfizer shot. The clinics come after the Centers for Disease Control made the recommendation last week that this age group should have access.

CVIM planned clinics on Nov. 6, 9 and 11. Clinical Services Director Kristi Mattzela said close to 2,000 parents signed their children up to get vaccinated and both parents and kids are excited.

“They are happy to be able to visit with relatives for the holidays. They’re happy to go back to playing with friends and doing things that they did before the pandemic,” Mattzela said.

Kids under 12 get one third the dosage in their Pfizer vaccines and will return after three weeks for a second shot.

Ten-year-old Landry Hockenberry, from Bellefonte, got her first dose along with her brother, Levi, who is 7. It was her idea to get the vaccine.

“I thought it would just be better to get the vaccine than wait,” Hockenberry said. “It kind of helps the community and stuff, like, not get other people as sick as they did when the vaccine wasn’t a thing.”

Their mom, Nichole, said they all look forward to getting back to normalcy in school and hope the community will be safe for both adults and children.

With this age group now eligible for vaccines, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said Monday he will return the decision making power on masking rules in schools to school districts in January.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in October found about three in 10 parents of 5-11-year-olds were eager to get a vaccine, while a third said they would wait to see how the vaccine works for kids.

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