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St. Lucie County starts vaccinating children ages 12 to 15

A girl, 13, receives the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in St. Lucie County on May 19, 2021.jpg
Posted at 4:30 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 17:29:00-04

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — Vaccines are being offered this week for the first time to children ages 12 to 15 in St. Lucie County.

When the Pfizer vaccine was cleared for use on younger children, Irene Ledlow said her 13-year-old daughter made the call.

"She wants it," Ledlow said.

After fighting off a childhood health scare, the decision was easier.

"Her take on it was, I don’t want to go the hospital. I’ve been there, and I don’t want to go back," Ledlow said.

"Better to be safe than sorry," said David McMahan.

McMahan convinced his mother to get her shot, and bring him in to get his.

"And if I got that, I’d feel a little safer about starting work up and not having to worry about this virus," McMahan said.

"What we want to continue to do is get shots in people's arms," said St. Lucie County’s health administrator Clint Sperber.

Sperber said through CARES Act dollars, his office got specialized freezers this year to store the Pfizer vaccine.

"We want everyone to get vaccinated. The science tells us the vaccine works," Sperber said.

So far, about 40% of the eligible county population has been vaccinated.

With demand down, mass vaccination sites are no longer needed. In fact, there are more than 50 sites around the county offering vaccinations now.

Sperber is hoping more young people get the shot.

"Kids live at home, they live with older people who potentially might not have had the vaccine," Sperber said.

For McMahan, he was surprised how easy it was to get and he hopes to get on with life after the second shot.

"It wasn’t that bad, I didn’t feel anything to be honest with you," McMahan said.

Vaccines are being offered at the clinic off Milner Road Tuesdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Wednesdays and Thursday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. To make an appointment, call 772-462-3800 and select "1" twice.

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County will be offering special clinics for the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 and up next week at the Treasure Coast Square Mall starting on May 26 on a walk-in basis.