Children ages 12-15 are now able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Santa Barbara County.
Many children ages 12 to 15 showed up Thursday at a drive-up clinic at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital to get vaccinated. Health officials say they expect to see more in the upcoming days.
"I do know we have about 1,000 appointments over the course of the next three days for this age group," the director of the community vaccine clinic at Cottage Health, Angeli Mancuso, said.
Parent Rock Rockenbach says he is glad he was able to get his 14-year-old son vaccinated.
"I think it's the best way to keep him safe. We have spent a fair bit of time looking at it over the course of the last number of months and we wanted it for ourselves and wanted it for our kids," Rockenbach said.
Richard Rockenbach, 14, said he felt safer after receiving the first dose.
"Yeah... yeah, I am it's going to be nice to be able to travel and do all that stuff and just feel a little bit better about it," he said.
Isela Marin, 13, is also glad to be getting vaccinated.
"I feel pretty good I was pretty excited to get it. I am happy I get to hang out with my family more now that we are all vaccinated," Marin said, adding her her entire family has now been vaccinated against COVID-19.
"I mean we are fortunate to be able to get the vaccine. Not everybody is yet, so whenever there is an opportunity to do a good thing or get a good thing, you have to take it," Isela's father, Anibal Figueroa, said.
Health officials say those under the age of 18 need to have a parent or guardian with them in order to be vaccinated.
The clinic will continue Friday and Saturday, May 14 and 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Next week, it will operate Friday and Saturday, May 21 and 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the following week on Wednesday and Thursday, May 26 and 27, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows about 3 in 10 parents are eager to get their child vaccinated while others are a little more hesitant. Parents are advised to contact their child’s doctor to discuss any concerns they might have about the vaccine.
Health officials say appointments are not required when going to the site but are encouraged. You can make your appointment using the https://myturn.ca.gov/ website.