School had ended as children, parents and community members registered and lined up at Madison Elementary School in Stockton for COVID-19 booster vaccines, regular adult vaccines or the first vaccines for children.
After COVID-19 vaccines were approved for children ages 5 to 11, clinics such as the one at Madison Elementary on Friday, November 19, were housed in the city in a bid to continue to keep the community safe. .
In partnership with the Stockton Unified School District, Representative Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton and community health centers coordinated to provide supplies and staff for the contextual immunization clinic.
“We did a lot of these vaccines (pop-up clinics) in the community, especially since children aged 5 to 11 were eligible to receive their vaccines,” said Roger Phillips, communications manager for community health centers. .
âWe were very happy to do this today in partnership with Stockton Unified and Congressman Jerry McNerney,â said Phillips.
“We bring it (the supplies, the vaccines) and it’s not just available to people who go to school (Madison Elementary, in this case) or CMC patients, but to anyone in the community.” who wants to protect themselves from COVID-19, “he said.” These are recalls, first vaccines, second vaccines, children’s vaccines, we’re just happy to see people showing up. ”
At any given time, there were between 30 and 40 people inside the gymnasium. Outside in the hall, about 70 to 100 people were lining up outside the registration desk.
âI just don’t want to catch COVID-19,â said Ethan Guizar, 10. A few of his classmates and his teacher asked why he was getting the vaccine. He thought the free pizza and the shots were a good deal.
Although he is not very excited, “I want to get it (the vaccine),” he said. He was accompanied by his mother, Erika Ramirez. âI think it’s good (he gets his shot) because we all have him in the family,â she said.
There are “nurses and doctors in the family so they saw the damage,” caused COVID-19, Ramirez said.
Brothers Daniel, 11, and Julian, 8, weren’t fans of needles, but they âwanted to get the shot,â Daniel said. âWe need it to stay safe. ”
As people entered the school, they encountered anti-vaccine protesters outside. A few minutes before 2 p.m., a lone man was standing on the sidewalk, verbally discouraging people with a headset.
At around 2:40 p.m., a dozen people were gathered outside with posters attempting to involve those preparing to be vaccinated. A police officer from the Stockton Unified School District stood outside. Staff at the entrance said officers from the Stockton Police Department pulled over minutes earlier.
Like other children, Ellesandra Valdes, 5, was receiving her first injection. The first protester outside frightened Valdes, but her mother, Rosale Keonorasack, kindly assured her.
Valdes said she feared both the needles and COVID-19, but was motivated to get the vaccine because “I just can’t go anywhere with mum”, because of the virus, he said. she declared.
Nina Taylor, 9, was among the first children to be vaccinated at the pop-up clinic. She’s already been vaccinated at school and “it didn’t hurt,” she said. “I’m not excited, but I’m not scared either,” she said as her father, Mark Taylor, stood nearby to support him.
Attention, relief and excitement seemed to be the feeling among the parents. Jesus Lopez paid no attention to the protesters outside as he led his children to the check-in table inside the school.
He brought his two sons – Rodrigo, 7, and Jessy, 8 – for the shot, “to be safe,” Lopez said. âI’m scared of hits,â Rodrigo said. Yet “COVID-19 makes you sick … and vaccines protect you from COVID-19,” said the first grader.
A few children shed a few tears like they do when getting vaccinated, but parents and staff were overjoyed to protect the community and the children from COVID-19.
Record-breaking journalist Laura Diaz covers social justice and societal issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @laurasdiaz_. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.