BOSTON (WHDH) - Hundreds of children got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Museum of Science Saturday, as organizers said they wanted to make the clinic kid-friendly to encourage vaccinations.

The 600 available spots for children 5 to 11 years old filled up just hours after they were posted earlier in the week, and officials said they would hold another clinic next weekend and over subsequent weekends as well. Organizers from Cataldo Ambulance named vaccine stations after animals and brought in balloons and stuffed animals to make the area more welcoming.

“We changed the environment not to be so clinical, that it becomes scary for them,” said Kevin Turner of Cataldo. “We want to make it a fun environment, so we put all our vaccinators through additional training on distraction methods, how to handle kids and how to talk to them.”

And parents said they also appreciated the location.

“I was kind of wanting to wait and see, to digest it a little more, but quite candidly, we’re comfortable with the science, we’re at the Museum of Science, what better place than the Museum of Science for them to be vaccinated,” said parent Michael DiMuccio. “It helps keep you safe, the community safe, and goodness knows we need that at a time when actually, the indicators are that its going back up in terms of community transmissions.”

Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University’s School of Public Health agreed that the vaccines were even more important as the weather gets colder.

“I’m worried we’re going to see an increase in cases again, it’s the reality of the virus. Cold weather, people spending more time indoors, families gathering,” Jha said. “This is why everyone needs to be vaccinated. its going to lower infection numbers and make it so if you do get infected you don’t get super sick.”

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox