Getting vaccinated, Jack said, will make it easier to get to his football and baseball games, go to school and watch the Red Sox play at Fenway Park.
“It just lessens the anxiety of everyday life,” says Daniel Wilson, a Newton resident.
During the day clinic, 432 children received their first vaccine dose and 113 adults were given boosters, the museum said. The museum organizes extra vaccination clinics on Sunday and next weekend.
“It really is a time of joy and relief,” said Tim Ritchie, the museum’s president. “You can feel and see that in these family groups that are coming.”
The clinic was set up in the atrium between the Charles Hayden Planetarium and Mugar Omni Theater and decorated with mylar balloons. Each vaccination station had a sign with a different animal and children were offered stuffed animals, stickers and lollipops.
Dan Hoffenberg, vice president of Cataldo Ambulance Service, which administers the vaccines, said workers were preparing to vaccinate young patients by learning distraction and calming techniques and how to engage parents to help their children get the shot. . Pediatric patients receive their second vaccine dose three weeks after the first injection, he said.
“We know this is an experience that certainly not every child looks forward to,” Hoffenberg said. “We try to make it as fun as possible for them.”
Barbara Poremba, a pediatric nurse, wore a unicorn headband and told her young patients she could use “special magic” to blunt the needle’s stinger.
When it came time for Needham’s Vera Engman Soldatini to get her shot, Poremba told the girl to be “very, very quiet.”
“Don’t look, because magic doesn’t work when you look,” she said.
While Engman Soldatini, 10, looked away, Poremba rubbed her upper arm with one hand and used her other hand to deliver the shot.
Once the vaccine was in the girl’s arm, Poremba stopped rubbing and asked, “Are you ready? Can I do it now?”
“Yes,” she said.
Poremba then told Engman Soldatini to look at her arm, where a patch had been applied to the site where the vaccine had been administered as she watched. away.
“Did you see the needle?” asked Poremba.
“No,” she said.
Engman Soldatini, who was accompanied by her mother, said her 12-year-old brother had already been vaccinated.
“I was super excited to get it,” she said of the vaccine.
Patients who are vaccinated in the museum receive two free tickets and two hours of free parking.
A new exhibit at the museum examines the development and clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines. The exhibit is called “Project Vaccine: Our Best Defense” and is also on display at the EcoTarium in Worcester and at the McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Ala., Ritchie said.
The COVID-19 pandemic, Ritchie said, is the “public science problem of our time.”
“This is public space for public science,” he said. “We want to be very active to be a place where people can do science. And getting a vaccination is like the ultimate citizen science effort.”
dr. Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, toured the clinic on Saturday. He said his 9-year-old son, Rohan, will receive his first vaccine dose on Tuesday, meaning his entire family will soon be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It’s a really big deal for him. And he very much sees it as his freedom from the pandemic. And he’s jealous that his sisters have had [the vaccine] and he hasn’t,” said Jha. “I think a lot of younger kids feel that way.”
Vaccinating younger children, he said, marks the beginning of a new phase where pandemic-related restrictions are “really starting to wind down in a meaningful way.”
Alanna Khan, 7, got her vaccine dressed as Superwoman.
She was with her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Taglauer, a neonatologist at Boston Medical Center who has researched pregnant women and COVID-19.
Taglauer said it is a milestone to get Khan vaccinated.
“It means a lot,” she said.
Ojas Tikale, who is in fourth grade, made a name tag and wore it around his neck for his vaccine appointment.
“Do not be afraid. Covid vaccines don’t hurt! They also destroy Covid!” he wrote on the name tag.
His parents, Vaishali Kushwaha and Sahil Tikale, said getting Ojas vaccination means they can visit relatives and friends in India, Washington, DC and California.
Rodrigo Barahona of Watertown filmed his daughter, Ophelia, 7, taking her picture and plans to share the clip with relatives in Costa Rica.
Ophelia said she tried to stay calm and not to worry before getting the shot.
“Even though I was a little scared,” she said, “I [held] Dad’s hand and I felt brave.”