PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Appointments are filling up at local pediatrician offices and pharmacies after the CDC approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
Only three days after Halloween, the Balloff family in Palm Beach Gardens said they have another reason to celebrate.
"We had a vaccine party in our house last night," said mother Emily Balloff.
With the CDC giving the green light for young children to get the shot, Balloff said she already made appointments for her 8-year-old twin girls. She is hoping the vaccine can help get their lives back to normal.
"It's been so difficult keeping them from having their play dates indoors, having those sleepovers, those normal activities," Balloff said.
Pfizer is the first vaccine approved for children.
Nearly 6.2 million kids in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19. Doctors said the shots will protect them and help prevent the virus from spreading.
"We are expecting our first shipment of vaccine hopefully by the end of this week," said Dr. Tommy Schechtman with Pediatric Partners in Palm Beach Gardens.
Schechtman said parents are already calling his office to make appointments.
"Not only when you vaccinate your child not only are you protecting your child, but you're also protecting your family, other household members as well as our community," Schechtman said.
Schechtman said children are spreaders of the coronavirus, and clinical trials have shown there are no serious side effects of the vaccine.
Balloff said she has been speaking with her pediatrician since June and is looking forward to getting her girls their first shot this weekend.
"Everything we can do to prevent this virus from impacting our family's general health is what we're gonna do," Balloff said.
Just like adults, children will need two shots that are 21 days apart, but the dosage for kids is one-third of what adults received.
Doctors said children are fully vaccinated two weeks after that second dose.
Pediatric Partners said it will be hosting a walk-thru clinic Nov. 13-14 at both its Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens locations to vaccinate children ages 5-11.