It was a big day for the little ones in London and Middlesex County on Friday as the region’s health officials began administering shots of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids between the ages of five and 11.
Since appointments opened on Tuesday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says more than 8,000 shots had been booked.
That number includes a dose for Lucas Lehouillier, who received his shot at the Western Fair District Agriplex mass vaccination clinic.
A man of few words with even less to complain about, the young vaccine recipient says the shot went well.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Lehouillier told Global News.
Lucas and his brother Aidan were brought to the clinic by Corrine Wilmink, who says it was an exciting day for the boys.
She added that her family wasted no time in booking appointments.
“My husband was one of the first in line on Tuesday morning signing these two up, so we were very lucky,” Wilmink said, adding that she’s relieved the boys can have at least one dose before Christmas.
“We have some older members in our family and they’re vaccinated and hopefully getting their boosters soon, so it would be wonderful to gather with everyone knowing that we’re all safe and protected.”
Elliott Shaule was another young Londoner who braved a needle on Friday, telling Global News “it hardly felt like anything.”
His brother Theodore also had no issues getting his first dose of the vaccine.
“It’s just like another flu shot, it doesn’t hurt at all,” he said.
The first day of child vaccinations went well for the MLHU too, according to acting medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers.
The health unit has worked to make vaccine clinics as child-friendly as possible, by providing stickers and plush toys, as well as having kids welcomed by a vaccine superhero on their way in.
“Those have been really appreciated to date and we look forward to more feedback on this as we see more and more kids vaccinated in the near future,” Summers said.
Next week, Summers will be discussing vaccinations for those aged five to 11 during an Instagram Live.
He’ll be joined by Dr. Rod Lim, the medical director of the paediatric emergency department at Children’s Hospital.
“(We’ll) answer some questions to give people an opportunity to tell us what’s on their mind, so we can address some of those concerns, if there are any,” Summers said.
The Instagram Live will run from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. on Dec. 3.
As for those looking to book a shot, appointments can be booked online through the health unit’s booking system, which also allows bookings for Southwestern Public Health’s vaccination clinics.
Folks can also book appointments over the phone at 226-289-3560, which operates 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
As for the MLHU’s mass vaccination clinics, the Western Fair District Agriplex is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges is open during the same time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.