NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Children as young as five years old can now receive coronavirus vaccinations, and local officials say plans are underway to start delivering the shots.

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge spoke with some of the first kids to get theirs Wednesday at Hartford Healthcare in Connecticut.

READ MORE: Gov. Lamont: Connecticut Man Who Tested Positive For Omicron Variant Has Mild Symptoms, Resting At Home

“I’m just happy,” one boy said.

“I felt very nervous, but now it’s over and now we’re vaccinated,” said Kailyn Cronin. “That’s a big step into making the world normal again.”

In Lower Manhattan, father Steven Brisson wasted no time booking a shot for his son.

“Went to Walgreens and CVS, both are accepting appointments starting next week,” he said. “So my 8-year-old is in for Wednesday the 10th.”


Little Genevieve Grillo looked scared, but she toughed out her jab like an old pro because she’s had other shots before.

“This was actually better than last time ’cause they usually do it for, like, five or four second Mississippis, but this one was, like, just one quick second,” Genevieve told CBS2’s Dick Brennan.

Mom Erin Grillo says getting the shot for her kids, Genevieve and 9-year-old Elliot, was not a tough call.

“Not particularly,” she said.

“She’s been waiting to do this for a long time,” Elliot said.

Dr. Dyan Hes is medical director of Gramercy Pediatrics.

“The phones are ringing off the hook. Like, we literally couldn’t come over here and leave our other office because we couldn’t stop picking up the phones to make appointments,” she said.

On Long Island, there were 10 pediatric doses and 10 appointments at Mount Sinai’s mobile vaccination site in Hempstead as parents lined up to get their children vaccinated.

“I’m excited for all of us. I feel like it was an educated decision we made as a family,” Freeport resident Noelle Blount told CBS2’s Jessica Moore.

Seven-year-old Annabelle Torres was first in line.

“It didn’t really hurt at all,” Annabelle said.

“Now how do you feel after getting the shot?” Moore asked.

“I feel healthy and not getting COVID,” Annabelle said.

“What advice did you have for other people who are thinking about maybe getting a vaccine, other little kids?” Moore asked.

“I would definitely get it because it only hurt for one little second,” Annabelle said.

Watch Jessica Moore’s report —

“It felt good. It didn’t hurt after I thought it would, and I’m glad that I got the vaccine now,” one child said.

The pediatric shots are one-third of an adult dose. They come in special pediatric vials with orange caps and use smaller needles.

Doctors say side effects for children include sore arm and body aches, but research shows symptoms for children are much milder than for adults.

City and state health officials say they already have a large supply of the pediatric dose and are working to secure more than enough for every child.

“We travel a lot and we have grandparents we haven’t seen in a long time, and I think it would make it safer for everybody,” mother Brooke Rhind said.

READ MORE: Connecticut Reports First Confirmed Case Of Omicron Variant

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, told CBS Mornings the benefits far outweigh the risks.

This is just really exciting news that we now have vaccine recommendations for 28 million children between the ages of 5 to 11,” she said. “We looked at how well these vaccines work — 91% effective against infection… There were no severe events associated with the safety of this vaccine.”

More than 2 million 5-11-year-olds have had the virus, 8,300 have been hospitalized and 173 have died.

Still, a survey showed a third of parents said they will definitely not get their child vaccinated.

“They are not that sick with COVID, so why do they need the vaccine?” one parent asked.

Another third are still undecided.

“Maybe. I have a 14-year-old who has it, but as young as five, maybe,” said father Derick Wood.

“For my kids, I probably will opt to not get the vaccine immediately, like I did for myself,” mother Jennifer McDaniel said.

But health officials hope to encourage parents on the fence.

“We can get most kids in now, and then get their second dose three weeks from now with good protection in time for the winter holidays,” pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu said.

And what about the little ones who fear getting the shot?

“It’s all about the attitude. If you come in scared, your child will be scared. If you come in saying this is the best thing since sliced bread, it’s gonna work for your kid,” Hes said.

The Grillo family doesn’t need to be sold.

“We’ve lost friends and family, and it feels nice not to have that extra worry,” Grillo said.

“We don’t want anybody to suffer any more than they already have, and we know what they’ve been through,” Elliot said. “So that’s why we got the shot, ’cause we didn’t want to get hurt.”

Watch Natalie Duddridge’s report —

While private practices were legally allowed to start administering doses to kids Wednesday, many children in New York City will have to wait until Thursday to get their first shot as health officials say they are waiting on “clinical considerations” from the CDC.

“We need to make sure that everybody has resources. They know that they are administering it properly. We don’t want mistakes … Having one mistake, you know how that is, it then creates a whole turmoil and people are unnecessarily worried,” said Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, director of public health policy for CUNY.

“As soon as we get that final authorization, that tomorrow city run vaccination sites in New York City will be providing the Pfizer vaccine,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

De Blasio also said the shots will provided in schools next week.

“Starting on Monday, November 8, vaccination in schools — one day per school. We’re going to have lots of notice to parents, of course, the schools communities are going to reach out to parents, we’re going to let them know that there will be an opportunity to get their child vaccinated in their own local school,” he said.

Parents must accompany their children or give verbal consent over the phone.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said earlier this week the state is prepared to administer shots to children, even at their schools.

“So far, 60% of all the schools of New York school districts have said that they’re willing to do the vaccinations on site. So it makes it easier for families,” she said.

New Jersey’s health department said it’s ready too, with vaccines being sent to sites, including primary care doctors and pharmacies.

“We will be prepared to vaccinate younger children. There are 760,000 5 to 11-year-olds in New Jersey. We have pre-ordered 205,000 doses of pediatric Pfizer,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

As for vaccinating children younger than five, Pfizer says it expects to have the results from that research before the end of the year.

MORE NEWS: More Omicron Cases Identified In New York; Total Rises To At Least 8

CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge and Jessica Moore contributed to this report.

Dick Brennan