NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — It was a big moment Wednesday when Eliza Nichols walked into a building at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Hamilton County. She was accompanied by her mom, Amy Nichols, to get her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
There were no tears from Eliza Nichols during or after the shot, but her mom says after all they went through last year, Amy Nichols couldn’t hold them back.
“There’s just been a lot of ups and downs as a mom. I feel like we weigh all those emotions, we carry them all. I’m just thankful that we’re to this point that she could be vaccinated,” she said while crying.
Nichols wasn’t alone in feeling overwhelmed with emotion. In the long lines that stretched inside and outside the building, there were hugs of encouragement and parents capturing the moment on camera.
“So many people have died,” parent Nicki Speck, who was also fighting back tears, said. “It’s hard to see, and then so many kids have lost their parents.”
Speck and her kids have been waiting for this day longer than most. She is a nurse who worked on travel assignments in New York City and Los Angeles during some of the darkest days of the pandemic.
“So they passed it, I watched it live yesterday, and she was begging for us to get vaccinated,” Speck said as she pointed to her daughter.
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Other kids weren’t as brave as Speck’s daughter. Some bargained with siblings so they didn’t have to get the shot first.
When News 8 caught back up with Eliza Nichols, she said kids shouldn’t worry.
“I did not want to come because I thought it would hurt and it didn’t hurt at all,” she said.
The Hamilton County Health Department says more than 200 kids received their first dose of the vaccine at the 4-hour pop-up clinic.
Health officials are asking families to make appointments to get their children the shot. They say walk-ins will still be accepted.