About 250 people, mostly adolescents, received their first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on May 20 at a clinic held at Riverside-Brookfield High School in partnership with Jewel-Osco.
The Pfizer vaccine is now available to all those age 12 and above.
Ella Caputo, 13, an eighth-grader at L.J. Hauser Junior High School, and 12-year-old Nico Caputo, a sixth-grader at Hauser, got their shots Thursday.
Ella, who plays soccer for the Celtics travel team, said she is looking forward to being able to play soccer without a face mask after being fully vaccinated.
“It will probably help us in the future,” said Ella, who had a mild case of COVID last November. “We’ll probably be able to do more things with it. Hopefully I won’t have to play soccer with masks, because that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s terrible. It’s hard especially when it’s hot out … you feel like you’re going to faint and pass out.”
Meanwhile, 12-year-old Zarha’a Albager, a seventh-grader at Hauser, got the vaccine along with her father, Said. When her father found out about the clinic, he told his daughter if you get it, I will get it. Zarha’a said it was a deal. She was happy to let her father go first and get his shot moments before she got hers.
“I felt more confident with my dad around, because he got the vaccine first,” Albager said. “He told me how it felt so I wouldn’t be nervous.”
The shot itself wasn’t bad at all.
“It hurt a little but I got through it,” Albager said. “I was a little nervous at first but I’m always nervous to get shots. It didn’t hurt too much, actually,”
Albager said that getting vaccinated will make her feel safer.
“I’m not going to get COVID anymore,” Albager said. “It’s going to change a lot of things.”
Jackson Drumhella, a 15-year-old sophomore at Riverside Brookfield High School got his shot along with his 12-year-old sister, Quinn, a seventh-grader at Hauser. Both Jackson and Quinn said that they were looking forward to being able to do more things such as getting together with family and traveling.
“It’s just time to do my part,” Jackson said. “I’ll be able to get out more and participate in more activities.”
Quinn Drumhella said that she is looking forward to hanging out with friends.
“It was a lot faster than I thought it would be and it didn’t hurt as much,” Quinn said. “I was a little bit nervous, but I was mostly just excited because I think I’ll be able to do more things.”
Lenore Hansen, 12, a sixth-grader at S.E. Gross Middle School, was surprised at how quick and relatively painless the process was.
“It was easy, it didn’t really hurt at all, it was just like a tiny pinch,” Hansen said. “I think we have to and it’s just a shot. It’s fine.”
Lenore’s mother, Jackie, said she was initially hesitant to get her daughter vaccinated because the Pfizer vaccine had just been recently approved for 12 to 15 year olds, but after finding out about the opportunity to get vaccinated at RBHS she decided to go ahead.
“I just decided that it’s worth the risk,” Jackie Hansen said.