MASON, Ohio — Mason City Schools students rolled up their sleeves Saturday to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the district opened its doors to eligible students as young as 12.
"It just hurt for a second, but it wasn't too bad,” said Mason Middle School seventh grader Allie Keim.
Keim, 12, said getting the COVID-19 vaccine today was her choice.
"I decided to come because I want to hang out with my grandparents and I get to spend more time with my friends,” Keim said. “Maybe things will start opening up more this summer."
Allie's mom Christine Keim said several other family members are also vaccinated -- what she calls a step toward normalcy.
"Most of my peer group is excited to get the family vaccinated and get back to I think a little better quality of life. And, we have graduation coming up, parties. That'll be a much more comfortable situation,” she said.
The vaccine clinic was conducted by the Warren County Health District (WCHD). Now that the age eligibility for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been lowered to 12 years old, they're seeing an uptick in young vaccine recipients.
"So we've had some of them coming in. We actually had a good response after school yesterday afternoon, so we had maybe 50 or 60 kids come in then,” said WCHD Commissioner Duane Stansbury.
After a difficult school year, some students and families are motivated by the idea of summer travel and camps. But, there's still hesitancy.
"People that are hesitant, they need to talk to their doctor. They can call us at the health department, they should look at the science from the CDC, World Health Organization and get to where they feel comfortable with it,” Stansbury said.
The Warren County Health District was able to vaccinate 600 people at Mason Middle School Saturday, and they'll have another first dose vaccination clinic on May 28.