Glenwood Springs youth describe why they decided to get vaccinated |

Glenwood Springs youth describe why they decided to get vaccinated

Rhea and Lucas Stotts stretch their arms at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Shannon Marvel / Post Independent

A steady stream of youngsters flowed into Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs on Wednesday to receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Siblings Lucas and Rhea Stotts were among those who received their first dose May 19 accompanied by their mother, Jennifer Stotts.

Jennifer said she told her children that it’s important to get the vaccination so the family can take trips, participate in activities and visit friends and family again.

For Rhea, age 12, the shot didn’t hurt.

“It was a normal shot,” Rhea said.

Rhea said she was most excited to get vaccinated so she could participate in horse shows again.

“Most of my friends are getting vaccinated,” Rhea said.

Jennifer added that the family had already seen about three friends at Valley View to receive their vaccinations as well.

When asked why she got her shot, Rhea said she wants people to be safe.

She also wants to get back to having sleepovers and to be able to spend more time with friends.

Lucas, age 13, is ready to get back on the baseball field and to resume Boy Scout activities.

“It didn’t hurt, and it’ll be worth it so we can do things,” Lucas said, echoing his sister.

Jennifer said the family is planning a trip to Disney World in Florida.

“I think we’re planning it for sometime this fall. They’ll have the second dose, and hopefully more people will be vaccinated by then, and they’ll drop the mask restrictions and things like that,” Jennifer said.

Garfield County Director of Public Health Yvonne Long said the health department has seen an uptick of parents wanting vaccinations for their children, during the May 17 Garfield County Commission meeting.

“Again, Garfield County does not mandate that anybody of any age get a shot,” Long said, adding that by law, schools need a parent’s permission to vaccinate their child.

Public Health Specialist Carrie Godes said that about 13% of the county’s 3,230 12- to 15-year-olds have received their first dose.

The Food and Drug Administration announced that 12- to 15-year-olds were eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine on May 10.

“Not enough time has lapsed for them to have received both doses,” Godes said.

Of the county’s 2,389 16- to 18-year-olds, about 32% have received their first dose, and 22% have received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“We are already in the schools — we did a clinic today in one of the schools, and we’ll be in one tomorrow,” Godes said Monday. “So we’re trying to hit these middle schools before the schools go out.”

Reporter Shannon Marvel can be reached at 605-350-8355 or

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