FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Children across the Sunshine State have joined the more than 12 million Floridians vaccinated against COVID-19 after a national pharmacy chain began administering the shots to the younger demographic.

7News cameras captured a long line outside a CVS pharmacy in Miami, Sunday afternoon.

The young patients expressed relief at having received their shot at protection from the virus.

“I’ve been waiting, like, two years,” said Sofia Ana Ferera. “I feel good.”

“I feel pretty happy now since I feel more safe,” said Jayden Brown.

As of Sunday, CVS became the latest pharmacy chain administering kid-sized doses of the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 5 to 11, less than a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light to the two-dose shot.

CVS joins Walgreens, Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más and several other major retailers in providing the vaccine to children in this age group.

For some parents, the recommendation could not come soon enough.

For Faye Brown, Jayden’s mother, finally having her son vaccinated has been an emotional experience.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for months, waiting and praying for this day to come,” she said. “I feel almost like I won the Lotto.”

Faye said she signed up for the shot on CVS’ website and was able to secure one of the first available appointments for her son Jayden.

The concerned mother said the boy is the last person in her family to receive the vaccine. She added that she trusts the science.

“Oh, I didn’t listen to all of the noise or conspiracy theories about the vaccine,” she said. “I listened to the doctors, and I knew that as soon as this was available, my child was going to get it.”

Fellow parent Bruce Horning said he jumped at the chance to get his daughter Ana inoculated as his family looks toward the holidays.

“We are going to go see my mother. She’s going to see her other grandmother. It just seems like it would be safer,” he said.

But the parents said they want to wait a bit longer.

“I have a couple of sons, and one of them has some things that I wouldn’t want him to get it right now, where others say that he should with asthma, and I would say I’d wait a little bit longer,” said a woman. “I mostly just kind of want to see what it’s starting to do on little children.”

Whatever the choice, some parents said the holidays will be that much brighter this year.

“The more people who are vaccinated, the less things will spread,” said Horning.

“I feel safe for now. We can have Thanksgiving with family,” said Faye.

Health experts have said children are at high risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, though far less likely to develop severe side effects or die from it.

They said, like adults, children may develop an immune response.

“The most common side effects for kids post-vaccine are a sore arm, fatigue and headache,” said board-certified pediatrician Dr. Stephanie Whyte. “They are usually mild, and they’ll resolve in a day or two.”

“I feel more safe. Like, if I get COVID, I won’t die from it, at least,” said Jayden, “so I feel more safe around people now.”

“I’m so relieved. Tonight, I’m going to sleep a whole lot better than I have in the last year,” said Faye.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools are expected to announce vaccination sites for children sometime this week.

Broward County Schools is also teaming up with the Florida Department of Health to provide vaccines at different elementary and middle schools across the county, beginning Wednesday. For more information, click here.

To find locations in Florida where children ages 5 to 11 can receive their COVID shots, click here.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

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