ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The Abilene Convention Center once again was host to a public COVID vaccination clinic Wednesday, but for the first time offering doses for kids aged 5-11 after emergency FDA approval late last month.
The Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District was prepared to dole out as many as 4,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. Throughout operating hours, parents with one or two youngsters close behind shuffled through the convention center’s doors.
One of those children getting vaccinated was Anica Wolf, 7. The young girl says she was excited to get her vaccination, as being fully-vaccinated would allow her to visit her medically-fragile 1-year-old sister.
“She has a heart murmur,” Wolf said shyly. “I love you sister.”
Wolf was brought to the clinic by her grandmother, who says the little girl also wanted to set a good example for other children her age who may be hesitant to get the shot.
Kerrye Hanley, 11, also received her first vaccine dose at the clinic. Like Anica, she said she did so because she wanted to feel more comfortable around her family.
“I wanted to get mine because everybody in my family already had theirs,” said Hanley. “Plus, last year I had COVID, it was kind of bad because I couldn’t go over to my grandparents’ house without wearing a mask.”
A couple demonstrators from the Abilene Freedom League advocating against the vaccine for children stood outside the clinic handing out pamphlets to parents walking by.
Mandi Rhodes, chairperson, says her group is not anti-vaccine, but believes more needs to be learned about the COVID vaccine itself before it’s given to children.
“If you want a vaccine, we think you should have access to that. We just want to make sure they have all the information before they do that,” said Rhodes.