Barnett Park begins offering pediatric COVID-19 vaccine

Shots for kids 5 to 11 administered Saturdays, Sundays

Orange County’s largest testing, vaccination and booster site began providing COVID-19 vaccines for children on Saturday.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orange County’s largest testing, vaccination and booster site began providing COVID-19 vaccines for children on Saturday.

Signs are posted at the site directing parents where to go to get the pediatric COVID shots at Barnett Park. The county began offering the Pfizer vaccine for children 5 to 11 this weekend.

Daniella Sullivan is the site manager for Barnett Park.

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“We are in very, very special circumstances because now we’re talking about the little ones,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she is hopeful for a good turnout. She said the county has 250 doses that can be administered over the weekend, with the ability to get more if needed.

She adds the county is taking a different approach with the younger children. Instead of going through a drive-thru, the children-size doses will be offered inside the administration building at the park.

“That’s going to give us the chance to properly prepare the child and make sure we can complete the observation in a safe way and also it will be way more comfortable for the parents because they now don’t have to be driving and taking care of the [child,]” Sullivan said.

Orange County Public Schools held vaccine clinics this week targeting younger students. According to the district, more than 3,700 shots were administered over three days. According to the numbers, around 70% of the doses went to kids ages 5-11.

Dillyn Lopez, 9, said he felt good about getting vaccinated Saturday because he plays soccer and karate, and he is often around other kids.

“It doesn’t hurt at all and I recommend that you get it,” Lopez said.

Virginia Lopez, his mother, said she once became seriously ill with COVID-19 and almost died, so she didn’t hesitate to get her son vaccinated.

“I was excited that they allowed kids to get vaccinated, I didn’t have any doubt about it, I trust,” Lopez said. “He’s very involved with other kids so now I’m going to feel safer.”

Additional vaccine clinics are being held on Saturday.

OCPS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins said the district will host future events.

“We don’t have any scheduled for next week, but we will have additional clinics for vaccinations,” Jenkins said.

Health departments across Central Florida are preparing to offer pediatric COVID vaccines. Flagler, Marion, Brevard, Lake and Osceola counties will start administering child-size does on Monday.

Appointments for pediatric vaccines are not required at Barnett Park, but you are encouraged to register online. You can also make an appointment. Pediatric doses will only be available on Saturdays and Sundays.

About the Author:

Amanda Castro, a proud UCF alum, joined the News 6 team in November 2015 and was promoted to weekend morning anchor in April 2016. Go Knights!