By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4) – Parents and their children excited to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine visited community sites like Ball Arena on Thursday, the first day ages 12 to 15 were eligible for the shot in Colorado. Appointments early in the morning were delayed because of miscommunication but families arriving throughout the day said it was an easy process.

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“It was really amazing, they were so nice, it was so easy, they just opened the car door, gave me the shot, and told me to wait for 30 minutes,”
said Hunter Frank, 14. “I had no reactions and I’m just so happy to be vaccinated.”

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Frank came to the Ball Arena vaccination site with her mother, both were eager for the opportunity to get her the Pfizer shot and start the process for better protection. They believe this is the first step toward returning to the life they remember before the pandemic.

“I feel like this is the biggest day in months,” said Beth Winter, Frank’s mother. “I’m so proud of who she is and for her being brave to get it.”

Other clinics operated by grocery store pharmacies also offered the vaccine for this new age range in the afternoon, the company overseeing vaccines at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park announced they will start giving shots to children 12 to 15 on Sunday.

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“I’m pretty excited because I’m a lot safer than I was before,” said Serena Kang, 14, another vaccine recipient at Ball Arena.

Teens taking their first dose expressed gratitude for the chance to get the vaccine and explained it was essential for their age group to join the general population eligible for a dose to keep everyone healthy.

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“I feel good, my arm’s a little sore but I’m excited,” said Sofia Millner, 13. “I think if we want to stop all the spread and get back to normal and go to school and have all the fun things we used to do then we all need to get vaccinated.”

Parents also said they want to work toward herd immunity and that means their children need the vaccine as well, they say it will also improve the experience for all students in local schools.

“I just think we have to do it for each other it’s not my family it’s about everybody,” said Ana Calvo, Millner’s mother.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 this week, health officials in Colorado announced all providers can start administering that vaccine on Wednesday, sending final approval to sites Thursday morning.

(credit: CBS)

“I want people to know it’s safe, she’s the fifth person in our family to be vaccinated,” said Dana Kang, Serena’s mother.

Teens hope this will help them reunite with friends they’ve rarely seen in person the past year if at all and create a summer that lets them return to the activities they missed out in 2020.

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“I’m just so happy to be vaccinated and I can’t wait for life to be more normal,” Frank said.

Shawn Chitnis