Remedy Canine Helps Ease Nervousness for Teenagers Getting COVID Vaccine at Newburyport Clinic

A previously planned vaccination clinic in Newburyport, Massachusetts opened appointments for 12-15 year olds this weekend after the vaccine was approved for that age group last week.



a woman sitting in a chair with a dog


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Lindsay Husak, of Merrimac, Massachusetts, was already hesitant to get her COVID-19 vaccine when she was 14.

“Many of my friends have already received their first dose,” she said. “Just when you heard about it, you got it right.”

Her father Carlos was also thrilled to take her to Nock Middle School in Newburyport for her first shot on Sunday.

“I go with science, it is what it is, whatever we are told by people who know more than I do, we will hold on to that,” said Mr Husak.

Haverhill-based Nathalia Cintron appeared for her second shot on Sunday.

“When you have someone you care about, I have my parents and friends who are important to me, I do this mostly for them, too,” Cintron said.

But like so many other children and many adults, the 16-year-old admits that she wasn’t looking forward to her appointment.

“I don’t like needles at all,” said Cintron. “The first shot, I admit I had to hug my mom because I almost cried.”

With young children now eligible for their admissions, the clinic’s organizers are thinking of more and more things to ease the anxiety.

In the clinic on Sunday there were several baskets with free chocolates, which were a great success. The most popular, however, was Dice, the therapy dog.

“I love dogs so much that it just cost me the day,” Cintron said with a laugh.

Dice’s sloppy, adorable face is the perfect distraction – and that’s exactly the idea.

“The children will say, ‘You did it? ‘and it’s like they don’t even know they’re getting the shot because they’re so busy looking at them, ”said Dice’s owner Pam Shedd.

It turns out to be the best day these teens had in a long time when you mix puppy cuddles with a sweet treat and get one step closer to the things we love.

“I miss all of my friends and I really want it to get back to normal,” said 16-year-old Megan Stephens.

“It was so great,” added Cintron.

We learned that Dice will continue to visit vaccination clinics in the Lower Merrimack Valley.

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