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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Younger teens take part in second vaccine clinic

On a warm and sunny Wednesday morning, approximately 25 adults and minors lined up at the Alexander Hughes Community Center to receive their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Calmly awaiting their shots, people stood socially distanced outside the Santa Fe room until they were called in by one of two nurses who then took down their medical information. Once they received their vaccination cards, they moved to an adjacent table where another nurse eased any nerves and promptly administered the vaccine.
Patients then moved to the makeshift monitoring space within the Grove Room across the hall for 15 minutes. Sitting in the inoculation space was Lily Marquez, a grandmother who brought her grandkids, Ralph and Lilah Sevilla, to be vaccinated for a very specific reason.
“I said if you guys want to come inside my house you need to get the COVID shot,” Ms. Marquez said hysterically. “And so they said ‘Oh, okay grandma.’ So I brought them.”
Another reason Ms. Marquez said she brought her grandchildren to the center was because she wanted them to do their part in helping to curb COVID-19.
She explained that neither Ralph or Lilah fought her on the issue of getting vaccinated. Rather, they were eager to get the shot, a trend becoming more apparent at clinics since those age 12 and older have gotten the green light for vaccination.
Ralph explained that although he was nervous prior to getting the shot, the El Roble student agreed it felt good to fight against COVID. He compared the Pfizer dose to his 7th grade immunization shot.
“It just made my [arm] muscle feel really weird,” he said. “It felt like…when you put a needle into a balloon. The way it looks, that is what it reminded me of.”
Though people came to receive their first dose of Pfizer, this was the second clinic hosted by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department in collaboration with Claremont and the community center. The second event came exactly six weeks after the center’s initial clinic on Wednesday, April 14 when medical officials administered the Moderna vaccine.
While there are no other upcoming COVID-19 vaccination events in Claremont, Ms. Vollaro said the city remains at-the-ready and open to working with the L.A. County Health Department in the future to host more clinics—and to possibly administer the booster shot if given approval.
Much like the first clinic however, the patient turnout was low and slow—despite now having clearance to vaccinate younger teens. Claremont Human Services Director Melissa Vollaro attributed the clinic’s low turnout to residents’ ability to venture out and get the vaccine elsewhere.
“We had the ability to do up to 150 [vaccines], but we took appointments and had a fairly small turnout,” Ms. Vollaro said. “I think it was in the ballpark of 25 appointments were made [for Wednesday].
“While there are no other upcoming COVID-19 vaccination events in Claremont, Ms. Vollaro said the city remains at-the-ready and open to working with the L.A. County Health Department in the future to host more clinics—and to possibly administer the booster shot if given approval.

by Andrew Alonzo | aalonzo@claremont-courier.com

 

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