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Health departments report high turnout for child COVID-19 vaccinations

FARMINGTON, Utah — Health departments and clinics across Utah are reporting strong turnout as 5- to 11-year-olds are now eligible to get the COVID-19 shot.

KSL’s Mike Anderson talked with some of the families who are eager to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.

Because of many of those families, appointments are getting booked up pretty fast, at least for the first part of the week.

Right now, we’re seeing response from the folks who have been waiting a long time for this added protection to become available.

“I’ve been waiting and dreading it at the same time,” said Carden Stephenson.

“Yep,” said Shauntelle Stephenson.

For the Stephensons, the rush to be among the first is deeply personal.

“We’ve got a daughter and his sister whose been immunocompromised from two heart transplants,” said Shauntelle.

Many reasons why cars lined up first thing Monday morning in Farmington, why children braved the needle at Primary Children’s.

“Just for safety,” said Diana Bowler. “Just at the schools, there’s not a ton of social distancing protocol.”

For the Bowlers, getting Aiden vaccinated is more about the basics.

“I felt good,” said Aiden. “I felt like it was the right choice.”

“Just get out and do stuff and not worry about what we’re getting exposed to as much,” said Diana.

Right now, health departments, hospitals and clinics across the state are all reporting strong turnout in getting children vaccinated.

“It’s a population that has been so affected by the virus. They have not been able to engage in normal activities. Their school learning has been interrupted,” said Gabriel Moreno with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Moreno said vaccination rates are back way up again, with well over 2,500 doses being given out last week.

“The interest we’re seeing on the vaccinations on the 5- to 11-year-olds are right in line with what we have seen with the older population,” said Brian Cowan, health officer with the Weber-Morgan Health Department.

Cowan explained that this turnout is in line with people who were ready and willing to get the vaccine early on.

“I wish people would get it, so we could get back to a normal society,” said Carden.

All the more reason, some of these folks say, to encourage others to do the same.

“Go get the vaccine, kids,” said Aiden.

There are several clinics that don’t require an appointment, but many others, like the one KSL’s Mike Anderson visited, do.

To find one in your area, you can check out vaccinate.utah.gov.

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