It’s a big day in the Diaz house: Leo Diaz, 4, got his first shot of the COVID vaccine.
“Oh I was so relieved, a huge sense of relief that the day is finally here, that my entire family is getting to be protected. It’s been a long two years to get to this point,” said Leo’s mom, Vivian Diaz.
Since the moment the vaccines got approval from the CDC, Vivian went online to get him an appointment. It took her days.
“I don’t even know how many times I’ve refreshed all the tabs I have open, probably every hour on Saturday, and this morning, I thought I would just check and got it for this afternoon,” said Diaz.
Big sister Luna gave him great advice as he went into his appointment.
“It’s only for like 2 seconds, it’s not that long,” said the 8 year-old.
Walgreens and CVS have opened up appointment for children 5 and under in South Florida, but hospitals and pediatricians offices are still waiting to receive their supply of the vaccine because the state of Florida didn’t pre-order shots by last week’s federal deadline.
“Absolutely, it’s because of the decision not to preorder, that’s what’s leading to the delay here in Florida,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, Infectious Disease Specialist at FIU.
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital released a statement Tuesday saying they’re working to secure supplies of the vaccine for children five and younger. Once they have them in hand they will update everyone online so people can make appointments.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has a similar message: Once they have the shots, they will begin scheduling appointments and post the information on social media and through their vaccine clinic web page.
Neither hospital has a target date for when they will start offering the vaccine.
That’s why Vivian Diaz is so thankful to have access to the vaccine for her son now, not a day too soon.
“A big sigh of relief that we can take him to the movies now, be more comfortable in public and closed areas," she said.
Walgreens will vaccinate children as young as three years old. CVS MinuteClinic will vaccinate children as young as 18 months. That’s why doctor’s offices and hospitals are so important for the youngest in the group, children six months to 18 months old, who are also eligible now for the vaccine. Those hospitals and offices are the only place babies and young toddlers will have access.