On Saturday, Sarai Garcia stood in line outside the Boys & Girls Club of Huntington Valley and hugged her older sister, Emily.
“I’m nervous and excited,” the 6-year-old said as she waited for her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
On Saturday, the Huntington Beach MemorialCare medical group partnered with the Huntington Beach branch of the Boys & Girls Club and vaccinated about 80 children between the ages of 5 and 11.
“I’m scared because it’s a gunshot, but I’m excited not to get COVID,” Sarai said.
“As parents, the most important thing to do with COVID-19 is to get children vaccinated,” said MemorialCare Medical Group pediatrician Dr. Emily Edwards.
“Children’s hospitals are seeing the highest volume of pediatric admissions due to COVID since the start of the pandemic,” she added.
But Saturday’s event offered a playful vibe. A Boys & Girls Club employee created a queue consisting of children and parents. “Vaccinated!” or get vaccinated, they shouted as he recorded them. And the children received drinks, snacks and coloring books and crayons at the end of the process.
When Sarai reached the front of the line, she unsuccessfully reasoned with her mother, Juana Miranda, whom 9-year-old Emily should go first as she is older and taller.
Volunteer Roberta Harris, a retired nurse, sensed Sarai’s apprehension.
“My name is Roberta. What’s your?”
She assured the little girl in the bright red mask with polar bears on sleds, that she wouldn’t do anything without explaining herself first. His approach worked like medicine, putting Sarai at ease.
Harris fondly continued adult conversations throughout the day.
“I feel like I have so much to give back to the community,” she later said of her help at the mobile vaccination event.
The partnership between MemorialCare and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley dates back to early 2000 when they offered scholarships to underserved children for memberships.
“Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley remained open when other clubs and childcare services were closed,” Dr. Edwards said, “so that our frontline clinical and support staff have a place to stay. safe for their children while they continued to serve in the hospital. .”