ENCINO (CBSLA) – Jillian Barreca was about to have her 12-year-old vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It was a tough decision,” she said. “I have been vaccinated. I think it is very important, but now we are talking about our children. “
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Eventually, Barreca decided to get her daughter Sophia vaccinated when she learned that her pediatrician was offering the injections. She said it was reassuring for both her and Sophia to have the vaccine administered by her child’s own doctor.
“I’m not going to ease it, I was very scared,” she said. “But now that we’ve done it, I’m very relieved.”
As for Sophia, she hopes to return to a more normal life.
“Hopefully I can see more of my friends and do more activities than I could have done before I got vaccinated,” she said.
Balboa Pediatrics in Encino was able to secure 600 doses and began vaccinating children 12 and older in the parking lot on Friday.
“We just got them in yesterday, so I’m pretty sure we’re the only ones doing it right now,” said Dr. Daniel Bruckner, a pediatrician at Balboa Pediatrics.
Bruckner said appointments for the booked doses will be made within hours.
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“We are already fully booked for tomorrow and next week,” he said. “Interest has increased enormously. As soon as we got the news on our Facebook page and the like, the phones started ringing off the hook. “
Tobin Nagel, 12, also received his first dose in the Encino parking lot on Friday.
“It was good,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything.”
Tobin said he forced his father to make an appointment so he can see his friends more and get rid of his face covering.
“It’s just been a long year, and it’s good to be back in school and vaccinated now,” he said.
As for Bruckner, he recommends the vaccine to all of his eligible patients.
“Thank goodness kids aren’t getting super, super sick from COVID,” he said. “There are some rare things, but the key is it’s all rare. But as a society as a whole, the fewer people who get COVID, the better, with herd immunity. “
Sophia, Tobin and the rest of the children who received the Pfizer vaccine in Encino are guaranteed a second dose in three weeks to complete the vaccine series.
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Currently, the practice is not accepting appointments for anyone other than the patients, but Bruckner said this could change as more doses become available.