‘This is a big day’: News 3 Now Vaccine Day gives 565 shots, mostly to 12- to 15-year-olds

MADISON, Wis. – During a busy day, 565 people got a COVID-19 vaccine shot at Thursday’s News 3 Now Vaccine events.

A total of 304 doses were administered the News 3 Now station, with at least 210 going to kids 12 to 15 years old. At William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park, 261 doses were given. Although the final tally is still being calculated, many of the people who received a vaccine there were also in the 12 to 15 age range.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services just announced that children 12 to 15 years old can receive the Pfizer vaccine yesterday, paving the way for vaccinations for that age group today.

“We heard it this morning, so we decided you know what, right after school today we’re going to run out here and get it done and get moving on with life,” Brian Leslie said. “This will be a summer of change.”

Leslie has two 15-year-old sons who were able to get the vaccine, which meant their whole family has gotten at least one shot.

“Obviously, we want to go on trips together, start living a normal summer,” Leslie said. “Obviously the quicker we can do this, the quicker we can get doing things we used to.”

Jake Leslie was able to get the shot before heading to track practice.

“I’ll feel safer, yeah, knowing I won’t get sick,” he said.

Both he and his brother Josh are now eager to plan for the future.

“Just being able to live a normal life and hang out with friends, (you) don’t have to worry as much,” Josh said.

The wait is over, too, for Plumer Lovelace’s family.

“We were pretty excited, because we live around the corner,” Lovelace said.

His 15-year-old came for her first dose, his adult daughter, her second.

“My daughters actually traveled to the US a year and a half ago. They actually arrived at the point the (Safer at Home) announcement was being made,” he said. “They have not had a normal summer in Madison, Wisconsin, so we’re pretty excited about the opportunity to do that.”

A familiar face and his family seized the opportunity, too. UW Health’s Dr. Bill Hartman, who’s often on News 3 Now giving information about the vaccines, stopped by with his 12- and 13-year-old sons so they could get their shots.

“This is a big day. Especially in the beginning of a pandemic, myself and all the health care workers that went into hospitals wondered, ‘Are we going to bring this thing home? How do we keep our families safe?’” Hartman said. “Now, we know how to keep them safe.”

He knows it’s the quickest shot at changing things for the better.

“As someone who has studied these vaccines every which way to Tuesday, these are safe and effective, and this is the giant step we need to get back to normal,” Hartman said.

The News 3 Now Vaccine Day was done in partnership with health officials, including those from SSM Health, who administered the vaccines.