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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — To accommodate about 180 pediatric patients, Novant officials made slight changes to the Hanes Mall mass vaccination site in Winston-Salem.

Children as young as 5 were able to sit with therapy dogs Thursday while waiting for their first dose of Pfizer vaccine. Some chose the pen color nurses wrote on their vaccine cards before getting a sticker.

“Little kids are not little adults, so we do have nurses that are used to giving vaccines to children,” said Dr. Ashley Parrott, a family physician with Novant Health.

“Everything here was so calming and helpful, and kind of put them in a peaceful situation so they were prepared and got it done,” parent Sarah Beck said.

She said it was emotional watching her kids, 7-year-old Haynes and 10-year-old Abigail, finally get their first dose.

“It’s been hard, I think at the beginning nobody thought that two years later still be dealing with it. It’s been tough, it’s been tough to see them struggle because Abigail is high-risk, Haynes has to play a part in that so there’s a lot of things they haven’t been able to do,” Beck said.

She said Abigail has asthma and even a cold can impact her breathing.

“It’s not a guarantee, we still have to be safe and do the things that we’ve been doing, but it’s going to give us kind of more freedom to live the way you want to live,” she said.

Keisha Edwards shares the same fear. Her 8-year-old daughter Myracle is a cancer survivor.

Myracle is scheduled to get her vaccine at a Nov. 13 clinic for kids.

“Anytime my child gets a cold I’m like, oh my God is it COVID, because you just don’t know, so now I’m excited,” Edwards said Thursday.

To make an appointment for a pediatric vaccine with Novant visit or

Forsyth County Public Health is also vaccinating children starting Nov. 6. Appointments can be scheduled beginning Friday, Nov. 5, at approximately 5 p.m. by going online at Bit.Ly/FCNCCovidVaccine or by calling (336) 582-0800.

The department is partnering with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools through clinics at Konnoak and Gibson elementary schools on Nov. 13.