‘You’re strong like a girl’: Trumbull holds first youth vaccine clinic

Photo of Amanda Cuda

TRUMBULL — Ryan Sullivan believes in science. He believes in vaccinations. But he also believes grown-ups shouldn’t lie to kids.

The 10-year-old was one of roughly 40 children age 5 to 11 who received their first shot against COVID-19 at a clinic that took place Wednesday afternoon at the Trumbull Senior Center. The clinic, sponsored by the Trumbull Health Department, was the department’s first for this age group.

After getting his shot, Ryan said he was happy to be vaccinated, but he wished people had been more honest about what it would feel like.

“I think what all the adults were saying about ‘Oh, you’re not going to feel it’ — that’s not true,” he said.

Ryan said his description of the shot would be more honest. “I’d say ‘It might hurt a bit, but it’s good. It’s better to get it over with than for someone, or even you, to get COVID.’ ”

His mother, Cathleen Dauenhauer, was a little more enthusiastic about her son’s vaccination.

“I was very excited for today,” she said. “I’m looking forward to be everyone being vaccinated.”

A Food and Drug Administration panel approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2. Health Department Director Lucienne Bango said the department put the word out about Wednesday’s clinic shortly after the approval, and spots quickly filled up.

Aside from Ryan, those who showed up for a shot included 9-year-old Lucas Nicholson, whose mother Erin scheduled the appointment for him.

“I want to make sure that the kids are just as vaccinated as the adults,” she said.

Tristin Boese, 8 and her 5-year-old brother Brennan, also got vaccinated at the clinic. Tristin remained stoic while getting her shot from Elika Golara, a Trumbull dentist who volunteered to work the clinic.

“You’re strong like a girl,” Golara said, beaming, as Tristin toughed out her shot.

Golara said she’s been helping to give vaccines for months, but had some reservations about helping out with the younger children, as she worried about hurting them.

“I was a little apprehensive,” she said. “But I was telling my mom about it and she said ‘You’re very good with children. And if you don’t do this, someone else will.’”

Tristin seemed unfazed by her shot after getting vaccinated.

“It was fine,” she said.