Vaccine clinics adjust to add kids to the mix – Spectrum News

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FORT WORTH, Texas — Did anyone really enjoy getting a shot as a kid? Well take that and add in all of the nervousness many have about the COVID-19 shot, and you’ve got an interesting new challenge for the folks giving out shots across Texas.
“We probably did about five employees kids the other day because we wanted to dry run all of our processes,” said MedStar Paramedic Mike Potts as he drew up shots to set up for their weekly COVID vaccine clinic last week.
Potts has given thousands of COVID shots out since the pandemic started. He’s a leader at most of MedStar’s clinics at their Fort Worth headquarters since they first started getting doses last January. He said he’s seen a lot change on the vaccine front. 
His vaccinating table has a number of shot options including Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, the booster versions and as of this week, the Pfizer pediatric version of the shot that was just cleared this month for kids ages 5-11. 
The new shot stands out among the others on Potts’s table with its smaller sized bottle and bright orange top, to avoid any confusion. Potts and his fellow paramedic Rebecca Hoke said they had 10 pediatric patients signed up to come get that shot that day.
However, it wasn’t just about learning how to handle the new children’s vaccine and add it to their system, but also about taking on those new patients themselves in this COVID vaccination process.
“It’s really knowing how to handle them, and what they’re going to do, and being quick about it,” said Potts. “And being honest.”
The COVID-19 vaccine has been controversial for some folks who have varying concerns about it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 59% of Americans ages five and older are now full vaccinated against the illness and just less than 69% have had at least one dose. Most would likely consider that a fairly large percentage by this point, but that still leaves a lot of people who have chosen not to get the shot.
The decision to get children vaccinated can be difficult for some parents. Potts and Hoke had that in mind as they prepared to open their clinic to the new crowd. Hoke said she got her eight-year-old daughter vaccinated.
“She’s actually been asking for the vaccine since it came out so we were finally able to give it to her,” said Hoke.
Potts and Hoke said ultimately they plan to try and make the experience as comfortable and as transparent as they could for the kids and their parents, to ease any fears. Potts hoped his year of administering the vaccines will bring those who are hesitent.
“It’s probably close to a hundred,” Potts said of the number of clinics he’s set up at this point. “And a legitimate allergic reaction or anything after a vaccine, I have not seen.”
He hopes to keep that streak going as he starts providing that extra layer of protection to that new age group. Maybe, inching closer to an end to the global pandemic as he’s tried to do since January.

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