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12-year-old has unique birthday wish

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's not a typical request for a 12-year-old, but soon to be middle schooler Kaydence Morrison knew exactly what she wanted for her birthday this year: the COVID vaccine.

"She said months ago, 'I know what I want for my birthday. I want the COVID vaccine," Mother Susan Morrison said with a laugh.

Kaydence isn't the only one with that idea.

"All right you're going to get your Pfizer shot today?" Hy-Vee Pharmacy Manager Madicen Smith said. "And it was your birthday recently, right? Happy Birthday!" 12-year-old Kaydence Morrison wanted to get her COVID vaccine for her birthday. She was able to get her shot nearly a week later at Hy-Vee.

"We have seen quite an increase in 12 and up getting the shot," A Hy-Vee Pharmacy Manager said. "For a 12-year-old who just recently turned 12, it's not that common, that's awesome for her."

Smith has been administering COVID shots since the beginning. She says shots for those 12 and up have gone up more than 50 percent in the last month alone.

"A lot of parents are starting to get their kids vaccinated before school starts here in a couple of weeks," Smith said. "I know a handful of parents are a little nervous with them going back to school, but they really want them to go back in person. So, they can have the teacher right there, they can be with their friends again. It's really about safety with them getting their shots."

Kaydence herself will head to Kellogg Middle School this fall. Susan said she would've gotten the shot earlier, if she was eligible to do so.

"It's a relief," Susan said. "She'll be starting a newer, bigger school and we have to wait three weeks for the second one, but at least she started the process, so she'll be protected."

Kaydence plans to encourage others her age to do the same.

"Just do it. It won't hurt," she said. "It feels just like the flu shot."

While it was Kaydence's idea to come in for her birthday to roll up her sleeve for the COVID vaccine, she had full support from mom.

"Oh please get vaccinated," Susan said. "It's the only way to combat these variants and put a stop to this."

Smith echoes that sentiment.

"Do it [get vaccinated] for the people who can't," Smith said. "The people stuck at home or people who are allergic or are too elderly and don't have help to get the vaccine. We definitely have seen a lot of people come in and say this is my first trip out in over a year and it's to get the shot."

Hy-Vee tells KTTC that it has plenty of Pfizer vaccine. Its pharmacy says you can make an appointment, or just walk in.

Beret Leone

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