Hundreds of 5- to 11-year-olds receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at Fiserv Forum and then get a photo with the championship trophy

·3 min read

Celeste Ziegler is not a fan of needles. As she received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 on Saturday, she got a little wobbly.

“It went horrible,” Ziegler said.

She was rewarded with a lollipop and a tie-dye Band-Aid for mustering up the courage to receive her vaccine.

The third grader walked away feeling brave.

Registered nurse Denise Anderson administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Theo Bond, 10, Saturday at Fiserv Forum. Theo was with his mother, Maura Bond.
Registered nurse Denise Anderson administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Theo Bond, 10, Saturday at Fiserv Forum. Theo was with his mother, Maura Bond.

Ziegler, 8, was one of several hundred 5- to 11-year-old children to receive a vaccine Saturday in the atrium of Fiserv Forum during a partnership clinic between the Milwaukee Health Department and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The clinic was part of outreach efforts by the Milwaukee Health Department to vaccinate children after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously recommended earlier this month that children in the age group receive the Pfizer vaccine. That expansion affected about 28 million U.S. children.

The clinic also offered first, second and booster doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to adults as well as flu shots.

Anyone who got vaccinated at the clinic was able to take a photo with the Larry O’Brien NBA championship trophy.

For Theo Carney, having his 9 and 10 year old boys vaccinated felt like a breath of fresh air.

“We had no concerns at all,” he said.

Carney is a fifth grade math teacher at Milwaukee College Prep, where his sons also attend.

He remembers having to teach virtually last year at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. To him, it was not an ideal way to teach or learn.

While he continues to follow COVID-19 safety protocols in the classroom, having his children vaccinated feels like a light at the end of the tunnel, he said.

Track COVID and the vaccine in Wisconsin: See the latest data on cases, deaths and administered doses

More: Wisconsin children ages 5-11 can now get vaccinated. Here's how.

Grace Shaffer, 5, and her dad Josh Shaffer of New Berlin pose for a photo in front of the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy after Grace received the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday at Fiserv Forum.
Grace Shaffer, 5, and her dad Josh Shaffer of New Berlin pose for a photo in front of the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy after Grace received the COVID-19 vaccine Saturday at Fiserv Forum.

"This is just a testament to our continued partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks," Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said.

"We've been anticipating authorization for months," she said.

As the weather gets colder and indoor activities increase, Johnson hopes more and more children continue to get vaccinated.

"We hope to get as many children as we can fully vaccinated by the holidays," she said.

The clinic had a full line of participants from 10 a.m. until it closed at 2 p.m. In the end, 309 vaccines were given, 149 of them to children. There also were 71 flu shots given.

The Milwaukee Health Department and Milwaukee Bucks will host a second vaccine clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 to administer second doses of the vaccine.

Anyone who returns to complete their vaccine series will be entered to win one of two available family four packs of tickets for that evening’s Bucks game against the Miami Heat.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Hundreds of 5 to 11 year olds receive COVID vaccine at Fiserv Forum

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