About 100 children among first ages 5 to 11 to get COVID-19 vaccine in Dubuque County

As of this week, children ages 5 to 11 are also eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
As of this week, children ages 5 to 11 are also eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.(Jeremy Vallin/KCRG)
Updated: Nov. 7, 2021 at 4:24 AM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - ”I was a little scared, but I was pretty excited,” Vivian Hoelscher, 10, said.

Hoelscher said that excitement was well warranted. She said she had been waiting for a day like Friday for a long time.

”I was excited because it has been a long time and we have not been able to get vaccinated,” Hoelscher explained. “So it is really exciting to get vaccinated.”

Hoelscher was one of about 100 children ages 5 to 11 that got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday at a vaccine clinic hosted by MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center.

”It felt kind of like a flu shot,” Hoelscher said. ”It feels better than not being vaccinated.”

The clinic comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for this age group.

”We got word that we would get approval from all the bodies that we would need approval from early this week, so we started working on a plan to have a vaccine clinic as quickly as we could,” Kara Nadermann, MercyOne Dubuque’s pharmacy director, said. “We actually received our vaccine this morning.”

Nadermann said appointments filled up as soon as they were available on the medical center’s website. She added, though, they had expected demand to be high.

”We have a plan in the immediate future to do clinics next week,” Nadermann said. “And then we are looking for opportunities to go out into the community in future weeks as well.”

Staff at MercyOne Dubuque said they plan on using their new mobile unit to offer the vaccines. They said an initial idea is to park the unit around town during after-school hours. Nadermann said that they are confident they will be able to fill those appointments, as well, as they have heard excitement from parents.

“I think everyone is really excited for the opportunity,” Nadermann said. “For a long time the kids in this age group have not had the opportunity to be vaccinated and have that protection from COVID, so we are seeing a lot of excitement from the community about getting these kids vaccinated and protecting them from COVID.”

Nadermann encouraged community members to check MercyOne Dubuque’s website for more information on future vaccine clinics.

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