DENVER -- People in the U.S. aged 12 and older can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and some Denver-area teens were quick to get the shot Thursday.
"I was expecting it to hurt a lot more," 15-year-old Parker Wedding said.
Parker received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a Safeway in Littleton. Their mother, Melinda Wedding, made the appointment for Parker as soon as the CDC announced Wednesday her child would be eligible.
"This is a huge sense of relief," Melinda said. "You hear stories about some people getting the virus and not having reactions, and you hear terrible stories about those who did. You don't know what your take in life is going to be."
Once Parker is fully vaccinated, they're looking forward to hanging out with their friends again — outside of school.
"I don't really want to have a sore arm, but it's fine," they said. "I'll be a lot less worried about just going anywhere, really."
Most of the other teens and parents Denver7 spoke with were longing for a return to normal and enjoying their summer plans.
"I'm excited to be able to have the vaccine because I'm working at a summer camp this summer, so it'll be nice to be fully vaccinated," 15-year-old Dirk Patton said.
Mateo Dufresne, 14, and his father Matthew are looking forward to visiting family safely this summer.
"We're going to get back to Minnesota to visit some family there. We'll just feel a lot safer with all of us vaccinated," Matthew said.
Even though vaccine demand is slowing, some providers are now seeing increasing demand from young people.
"We had people calling yesterday," said Nikke Price, director of pharmacy operations for Albertsons and Safeway. "Our appointments went up three times the amount."
With fully vaccinated parents, these teens hope getting their shot will be the end of their pandemic and the beginning of new, and better, childhood memories.