ENCINO (CBSLA) — Jillian Barreca was on the fence about getting her 12-year-old vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It was a tough decision to make,” she said. “I am vaccinated. I think it’s really important, but now we’re talking about our children.”READ MORE: Range Fire: Firefighters Battling Small Brush Fire In Sylmar From Ground, Air
Ultimately, Barreca decided to get her daughter Sophia vaccinated once she learned that her pediatrician was offering the shots. She said having her child’s own doctor administer the vaccine was comforting for both her and Sophia.
“I’m not gonna sugarcoat 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 again.
“Hopefully I can see more of my friends and get to do more activities than I could have before I was vaccinated,” she said.
Balboa Pediatrics in Encino was able to secure 600 doses and on Friday started vaccinating kids ages 12 and older in the parking lot.
“We just got them in yesterday, so I’m pretty sure we are the only ones doing it at this point,” Dr. Daniel Bruckner, a pediatrician at Balboa Pediatrics, said.
Bruckner said appointments for the doses booked up within hours.READ MORE: Beloved Security Guard Killed In Hit-And-Run In Long Beach Is Identified
“We’re totally full for tomorrow and next week already,” he said. “The interest has been booming. As soon as we got the word out there on our Facebook page and things like that, the phones have been ringing off the hook.”
Tobin Nagel, 12, also got his first dose on Friday in the Encino parking lot.
“It was good,” he said. “I didn’t feel anything.”
Tobin said he had been pushing his dad to make an appointment so he can see his friends more and ditch his face covering.
“It’s been just a long year, and it’s good to be back at school and now vaccinated,” he said.
As for Bruckner, he is recommending the vaccine to all of his patients who qualify.
“Thank God kids are not who are getting super, super sick with COVID,” he said. “There are some rare things, but the key is that it’s all rare. But as a society as a whole, the less people that get COVID, the better, with herd immunity.”
Sophia, Tobin and the rest of the kids who received the Pfizer vaccine in Encino are guaranteed a second dose in three weeks’ time to complete the vaccine series.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Underway In Pasadena: 'We Are Down To Our Final Days Before State Opens'
Currently, the practice is not accepting appointments for anyone other than its patients, but Bruckner said that could change as more doses become available.