The Christina School District on Saturday hosted its first vaccination events for students aged 5 to 11 years-old.

The events at Kirk Middle School near Newark and the Bancroft School in Wilmington gave families the chance to protect their children before Christmas.

“Vaccination is important for children. It is going to allow children to stay in school,” Christina lead nurse Karen Kleinschmidt said. “It’s going to prevent them from losing school days, prevent them from having to quarantine, and keep them safe.”

A total of 437 people signed up for the vaccination event at Kirk on Saturday.

“I just wanted to make sure they were protected from COVID,” parent Poosamani Subramaniyan said. “They are in school, so they can easily get the virus.”

Erica Childs got her son vaccinated to keep him healthy.

“Every time I turn around, I’m getting an email from the school saying another kid was impacted by COVID,” Childs said. “I thought it was very important to take advantage and get vaccinated.”

Parent Zamara Thelwell said everyone will eventually get the vaccine, so it was best for her children to get it as early as possible.

“I don’t want to reach the point where there’s a rush to get it,” Thelwell said.

The CDC approved vaccinations for 5 to 11 year olds on Nov. 2. The second dose will be given to Christina students on Dec. 11.

According to data provided by the state, 201 Christina students and 56 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 since the school year began in September.

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