Monroe County opens up COVID vaccine clinics for youngest age group thus far

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (WHEC) — A lot of parents are encouraging families to get their young ones vaccinated.

As of Saturday, Governor Kathy Hochul’s office released new data that shows the Finger Lakes region has had the highest percentage of tests spotting people with the virus.

On Saturday, Monroe County opened four COVID-19 vaccination clinics for young children between the ages of 5 and 11. This comes just days after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized the Pfizer vaccine for this age group.

"Shots keep you healthy and keep you safe from COVID, so, they save,” Mia and Annabeth Briggs told News10NBC after getting vaccinated at the Pittsford Plaza.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said the first day of the clinics was a great turnout.

"We have been getting feedback of tears of joy from these families who have been waiting for this for so long,” Bello said.

Vaccine clinics for kiddos ages 5 to 11 opened in Pittsford Plaza, Greece Ridge Mall and Monroe Community College Downtown Campus Saturday. Edgerton Recreaction Center will open Sunday.

"It was very important to me to get my kids vaccinated and myself vaccinated and we’re so excited for these to stop the spread and start living normal lives and do our part for the community,” Katy Briggs said.

"It’s wonderful that we’ll be able to do things that we haven’t been able to do in 20 months and seeing family and friends and not worrying about getting sick is huge,” said Richelle Goff, another parent at Pittsford Plaza getting family members vaccinated.

For many, it was the "getting back to normal" factor.

“Going back to school without masks and we can go through Canada now to get to Michigan because that’s most of where our family lives,” Annabeth added.

Bello says this age approval for the poke has come at a good time.

"It’s brought another level of protection to a group of thousands and thousands of people in our community, and it’s coming at a real significant time," Bello said. "We’re entering into the holiday season here, and families are going to be getting together – generations of families."

Bello says these clinics will be held every weekend until the demand is no longer needed.