Seven-year-old Kareem Omar of Simsbury was the first child under 12 to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients.

He received the vaccine at Hartford Hospital, part of the Pediatric Care Alliance, which is a partnership between Hartford HealthCare and Connecticut Children’s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved COVID-19 vaccines for children on Wednesday.

“As a parent, you try to do everything you can to protect your children and Hartford HealthCare helped me do that against COVID,” said his mother, Reem Nouh of Simsbury. “We are forever grateful.”

Other children will get their chance on Saturday, Nov. 13, from noon to 4 p.m.

That’s when Hartford HealthCare will host COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children ages 5 to 11 at several locations across the state.

All children who are vaccinated will be scheduled for their second dose of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine on Saturday, Dec. 4, at the same locations and times. They must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. Appointments are required.

The locations include:

  • Bridgeport: St. Vincent’s Medical Center, Hawley Conference Center, 2800 Main St.
  • Hartford: Hartford Hospital at Heublein Hall, 560 Hudson St.
  • New Britain: The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Lecture Room #2, 100 Grand St.
  • Norwich: Hartford HealthCare Support Office, 11 Stott Ave., Norwich (in the Norwich Business Park)
  • Torrington: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital, Memorial Conference Room, 540 Litchfield St.
  • Wethersfield: Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Office, 1290 Silas Deane Highway

For more information or to register, click here.

Pfizer said its low-dose vaccine for children (which is one-third of the dosage given to adults) is more than 90% effective in preventing symptomatic infection. Pfizer also said the shots were well tolerated in young children, producing side effects comparable with those seen in a study of people ages 16 to 25.

And the shots don’t hurt, either, according to Kareem.

“When I told him he was getting vaccinated, he gave me the biggest hug, he was so happy!” Nouh said. “When he actually got the shot, he high-fived the pharmacist and jumped off stage and gave a speech! He wanted everyone to know that this was a very special day and that it didn’t hurt and that everyone should get the shot.”

It was later that Kareem and others learned he was the first under 12 in the country to be vaccinated, something that excited him.

“He has been waiting so long and knows how important this is,” his mother said. “He hopes that all his friends and other kids get vaccinated, too, so that everyone can be safe and so that they don’t have to wear masks anymore!”

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