Some Prince George's County public school students age 5-11 got the COVID-19 vaccine in some of the county's schools on Monday.
County officials said they want to make the vaccine as accessible as possible to children and their parents.
Students waited alongside their parents to get their vaccines at Judge Sylvania Woods Elementary in Glenarden.
Renee Marr was among those getting their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
She said she's had COVID-19 twice in the past.
"[I was] not feeling good. I had a runny nose and my throat was hurting and I couldn't taste nothing," she said of contracting the virus.
Marr's father said he wanted her to get the vaccine to protect her and the rest of their family.
"They're children. I would want them to be safe. … Everyone else in the household has it so she should have one too," Brian Marr said.
Dara Nkingugbe has spent her 4th grade year at home.
"I'm excited because I get to go back to school and see all my friends," Nkingugbe said.
Her mother said she feels safer sending her back to class with the vaccine.
"I've been waiting on this for a long time because she's a virtual learner. So, with this … I said, 'She's ready to come back,'" Dara's mother Adeola Adeyeye said.
More than a dozen Prince George's County high schools and nearly 40
elementary schools host vaccine clinics daily from 3-8 p.m.
Vaccine distribution among students won't change safety precautions in schools, officials said.
"They will still have to wear their mask. They will still have to do handwashing. We will still have cohorting of students in groups. We will still sanitize our buildings, but having our kids vaccinated will help us to keep our kids in school as long as possible," said Traci Jones with the Prince George's County Public Schools Office of School Health.
County health officials are encouraging parents not to wait to vaccinate their kids and said there are several cases reported among county students every day.
"I think we've been through this before with the wait and see. The longer you wait,
the greater risk you place your child, family and community at by waiting to get
vaccinated," Prince George's County Deputy Health Officer Dr. George Askew said.