OXNARD, Calif. -- Ventura County is now vaccinating 12 to 15 year-olds in the area.
On Friday, Ventura County Public Health held a pop-up vaccine clinic at a local middle school, and there was a huge turnout.
"As I was driving up C Street and saw the line I was absolutely thrilled,” said Christine Walker, who is the Superintendent at Hueneme Elementary School District. “We are really happy about the turnout.”
The line to get vaccinated wrapped around E.O. Green Junior high school in Oxnard Friday. It was the second time the school hosted a pop up clinic, but the first where students could get the vaccine.
“We got approval for students who are between 12 to 15 years-old to be able to get vaccinated, and so today we have the opportunity to have our junior high students come and participate,” said Walker.
Young teens came out in big numbers. Fourteen-year-old Annavella Lehtonen jumped on the opportunity to get vaccinated along with her 13-year-old sister.
“I wanted to get the vaccine so I can hang out with friends and people around me can be safer,” said Lehtonen.
Their mom Pam Lehtonen said it’s a day they've all been waiting for.
“We have been extremely careful with our kids and they have had to stay in,” said Lehtonen. “They don’t do sleepovers since last year they have been in and all of their other friends have been going around like there’s no pandemic. I am just happy to know that they are going to be able to get back to being social and go to camp and I don’t have to worry.”
Appointments aren't required. All that's needed is proof of birth date, and a legal guardian to sign off. Parents hope others will turn out in the future.
“What I am hearing is that parents are letting their kids decided if they want a vaccine or not,” said Lehtonen. “And you know, these are kids and our jobs as parents is to keep our kids safe.”
Schools hope this will help with attendance.
“We have been in a hybrid learning model so students have been coming to school a couple of days a week,” said Walker. “But we had about 25 to 30 percent of our families that opted to keep their students home for distance learning because they were concerned. now this is just another level of protection to our middle school students.”
Pop up vaccination sites will continue on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pacifica High School, 600 East Gonzales Road, Oxnard; and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 427 North Oak Street For hours and more information, click here.