LITTLE ROCK, Ark – The wait for young children to get vaccinated is over.
Central Arkansas County Health Units, hospitals, and pharmacies held clinics for children 5 to 11 years old this weekend.
“It felt like a bug was digging into my skin,” Easton Gracey, 7, said.
Gracey was one of about 30 who got his shot Saturday at the Pulaski County Center Health Unit. Leaders at the unit say they’ve done a little over 100 since Thursday.
Over at Kavanaugh Pharmacy, the wait time was a lot longer Saturday.
“We try and churn through about 30 people per hour,” said Kavanaugh Pharmacy owner Scott Pace.
Pace says they had given out about 100 shots to children Saturday.
“They’ve seen their parents, their older brothers and sisters get vaccinated, and they have been waiting to get that same protection,” Pace said.
One of those 100 was Dorian Stubert’s 10-year-old daughter.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Stubert said. “She got up today and was like, ‘Today’s the day for the shot!”
Kavanaugh Pharmacy says it opened its appointment list Thursday. Within 30 minutes, all 300 slots for Thursday, Friday and Saturday had been filled.
They say they are still searching for more vaccines for next week and won’t open another list until they have vaccines available.
“It’s stressful,” Pace said.
Pace and his wife Anne say the distribution process this go-around is different, and they aren’t getting vaccines as quickly. They had to ask around at other pharmacies just to fill up the 300 for this weekend.
Parents who were able to get in this week say they are relieved.
“I’m from Canada, we haven’t been able to go see my family in a couple of years and now there’s a possibility that we can do that as a family that’s a really big deal,” Stubert said.
Kavanaugh pharmacy is telling parents to remain patient as they navigate this process. They also suggest checking other health units and hospitals if an immediate appointment is needed.
Health units in Central Arkansas counties will be open this week through 6 p.m. for walk-ins.
To check your county schedule, go to healthy.arkansas.gov