Children aged 6-11 began to receive first COVID-19 vaccinations
"Take it easy, don't be afraid, it's very quick," a nurse told a child before injecting the COVID-19 vaccine into his arm at a temporary vaccination site on Longhua Rd E. in Huangpu District on Saturday morning.
Such scenes occurred around the city over the weekend as children aged 6-11 began to receive their first jabs, accompanied by their parents or guardians.
According to the district health commission, more than 2,000 students from nine local schools made appointments to be vaccinated at the site on Longhua Rd E. on Saturday. To cope with children of such a young age group, pediatricians and psychologists were on standby.
At all vaccination sites, there were areas for consultation, registration, vaccination and observation.
At the consultation desks, doctors asked parents about children's health conditions and contraindications before letting them go to the registration desks, where information was checked and consent forms signed by parents were submitted.
After that, children received injections at the vaccination desks and waited for 30 minutes in the observation areas before leaving.
Students seemed nervous when entering but looked relaxed when leaving.
"I felt hurt when the needle pierced my arm, but it was very quick and I felt better when the nurse pulled it out," said a girl. "I can only feel slight soreness in the injection area now. It's just like the pricking was my imagination."
Some students cried after the injection, then parents, teachers and doctors all came to comfort them.
In Hongkou District, a nurse hung some candies near the door of the vaccination room for children.
Chen Yan brought her 9-year-old daughter to a vaccination site on Meifu Road in Minhang on Saturday morning and finished the vaccination process in about 5 minutes. They stayed on the site for another 30 minutes for observation.
"It's very smooth," she said. "My daughter's school arranged a meeting for parents on Wednesday evening to inform us of all the information, including registering on a platform and signing the consent form in advance, as well as bringing all necessary identity materials to the site."
Chen said the whole thing was not complicated for her as she has already been fully vaccinated.
The district has arranged several vaccination sites, including the Minhang Stadium, to ensure more than 90,000 students in 136 local schools get their first jabs by next weekend.
Chen chose one site near her home.
"When we arrived the site, we only had to follow the instruction of the staff," she said. "My daughter is really brave and didn't cry at all. It's just like other vaccinations she has received before."
In Yangpu District, medical workers vaccinate students at schools. In Yinhang Subdistrict, about 1,000 sixth-graders in six middle schools were vaccinated over the weekend.
"We have gone to high schools and middle schools before for vaccination of older students, so everything was carried out in an orderly manner," said Gui Ping, chief of the disease prevention division of the subdistrict's health care service center.
She said children feel at ease in schools with familiar environments, classmates and teachers, which makes the vaccination process less scary and smoother.
"In each school, there was one or two students so nervous that they dare not put their arms on the desk to receive the jab," she said.
"Our nurses would show them the needle and vaccine, and told them the amount was very little and the process would be very quick, so it wouldn't be as painful as they expected. They would also tell students to look at other students' vaccination process and ease their anxiety gradually. All those students later relaxed and got vaccinated."
Gui said next week, they will visit primary schools to guide school faculty and neighborhood workers to set up vaccination sites and get parents and children prepared in advance.
"We will vaccinate more than 5,000 students in nine primary schools, which is a huge task for us," she said. "We need to be more patient and careful with the younger children."