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Northern Light Mercy Hospital hosts its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic for kids

The Portland hospital welcomed children ages 5-11 for their first dose of the vaccine Saturday.

PORTLAND, Maine — Now that children ages 5-11 are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Maine kids are rolling up their sleeves and getting their shots.

The children's doses of vaccine are about a third of the size of an adult dose, and special clinics are being held across the state that carry these smaller doses.

Northern Light Mercy Hospital held its first vaccine clinic for children all day Saturday. It was a steady flow of appointments throughout the morning and afternoon according to the hospital's Director of Mission Katie Kerr.

"Any shot can be a little nerve-wracking for our kiddos, but the kids are really excited about what it might mean for them in terms of school activities and sports and all of those things," Kerr added.

When they arrived, kids were welcomed by the hospital's dancing bear mascot and were offered Mickey Mouse-inspired masks when they made it inside the clinic.

Credit: NCM

Kerr said it was an exciting day for not just the clinic's staff and the kids who got their first dose, but it was also an exciting day for folks who drove their children there.

"And you can tell the parents have this sigh of relief as they come out of those exam rooms, so it's been really fun," she added.

To complete the vaccination process, all kids who had an appointment Saturday will return for their second dose on Dec. 4.

Kerr said the hospital will be hosting smaller clinics in the future and parents who want to find more information can do so on the Northern Light Mercy Hospital website.