By Jennifer McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Young children received the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday in Queens, including 9-year-old Desiree Mohammadi.

You may remember the Long Island native emptied her piggy-bank to donate $52 for snacks for first responders back in May of 2020.

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She was joined by her parents, as well as Sandra Lindsay, the Long Island nurse who was the first American to receive a COVID vaccine.

A hug from Lindsay was all the reassurance Desiree needed.

“It just felt like a pinch and it just passed by in like two seconds,” the little resident of Syosset said.

COVID VACCINE

Lindsay held Desiree’s hand as she promised. The two met last summer when Desiree broke open her piggy bank and donated all the coins she had to support Northwell‘s front-line workers during the pandemic.

“She wants to be able to help in the fight against this pandemic,” Lindsay told CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan, adding when asked if the nurse represents that fight, “Yes, and I’m happy she has joined me.”

Doctors at Cohen Children’s Hospital brought in their own kids to set an example. Doses are one-third of the amount given to teens and adults.

“I also want to encourage other parents that are still unsure,” Desiree added.

“I cannot tell you the wave of relief washing over me today and the sense of emotion I have that my superhero is going to get his vaccine,” said Dr. Mundeep Kainth, mother of 8-year-old Jaishan said.

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Medical experts say 100,000 children a week in the United States are getting infected with COVID.

“It’s clear that the kids, down to these ages, are some of the major spreaders,” said Dr. Charles Schleien, executive director of Cohen Children’s Hospital.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The Centers for Disease Control says there are 28 million youngsters across the country in the 5-to-11-year-old age group. Vaxmobiles are hitting the road in the Tri-State Area to get doses out quickly before Thanksgiving.

“I’m super-excited. Today was like a really big day,” said 9-year-old Aarav Goenka of Jericho.

“It hurted a lot when they poked it in, but didn’t really hurt that much after,” 8-year-old Anmay Goenka added.

Seven-year-old Nora Gossett said the pain was worth it.

“I’m going to be able to have playdates more with my friends and sleepovers and birthday parties,” she said.

“So we are a bit closer now to allowing our kids to just be kids again,” said Dr. Sophia Jan, chief of general pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Hospital.

Hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are planning big weekend push to get younger children — now eligible — vaccinated.

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Although demand is skyrocketing right now, some national polls indicate many parents are hesitant to get their children inoculated.

Jennifer McLogan