With her great-grandmother standing by her side, 6-year-old Ezorah Banks sat still in her seat as nurse practitioner Kay McLean-Grant, MSN, APRN, CPNP, leaned toward her with a needle. The girl’s eyes widened, but before her face could register what happened, Ezorah had received her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
“All done. How was that?” McClean-Grant asked as she gently placed a bandage on Ezorah’s arm.
“It felt like a bee sting,” Ezorah said.
As a reward for her bravery, Ezorah chose a purple “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” sticker. But for her great-grandmother, Sherry Malloy, the family’s best reward was knowing that Ezorah and her twin sister, Elahni, were better protected against severe illness from COVID-19.
“It’s a relief,” Malloy said.
The twins were among 19 children between ages 5 and 12 who were immunized on February 7 during an event at the Community Education Building in Wilmington, Delaware.
“The kids in this area know the building. They come here for school and for activities, so it’s easy for the parents,” said Carla Aponte Johnson, MS, director of Community Health & Social Integration. Since 2021, Community Health has administered more than 6,000 COVID-19 immunizations, holding events at community centers, churches, schools and local businesses. This was the first pediatric-focused immunization event organized by Community Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended everyone 5 years and older be vaccinated against the virus.
Niamyiah Porter, 11, and her cousin Deja Limberry, 8, were nervous about getting their COVID-19 vaccines, but their grandfather, Reece Sturgis, had a tempting incentive for overcoming their fears — the promise of ice cream at home.
“It didn’t really hurt,” Niamyiah said as her younger cousin grabbed her grandfather’s hand and hid her face when physician assistant Tiwana Miller, PA-C, came close with the needle.
Before Imajen Reed, 11, got her shot, she drew a picture in her sketchbook of how she felt. Scared. Anxious. Uneasy.
But then she and her little sister, Jasmine, 6, watched someone else bravely go before them— their mom, Jennifer Peer. If her mom could do it, Imajen thought she could too.
“I was nervous it was going to be painful, even when it wasn’t. It was just like a pinch,” Imajen said.