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Yellowstone County begins vaccinating kids against COVID-19

Kayla Desroches
Yellowstone Public Radio
Sparkly bandages are lined up ready to cover children's arms after their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Billings on November 13, 2021.

The Yellowstone County health department held its first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11 in Billings over the weekend.

English teacher Allison Ferderer brought her two daughters for her eldest to receive her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Saturday morning.

“The girls have always gotten their recommended vaccines to help keep them safe and to help keep other people safe,” Ferderer said. “And so, it was really kind of a no-brainer.”

Ferderer’s 3-year-old sat in her lap crunching a lollipop between her teeth while her 7-year-old daughter, Lillian, squeezed a stress ball in the chair next to her.

“I feel great because I know that I’m not going to get COVID anymore and that it didn’t hurt that bad,” Lillian said.

The vaccine is almost 91% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages 5 to 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which endorsed the vaccine for younger children earlier this month.

RiverStone Health said more than 270 people received vaccines Saturday, including about 150 children.

Additional walk-in clinics are scheduled Tuesday and Thursday for both adults and children and Saturday for families with children.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.