They waited in line, hoping it was quick and painless. Dozens of kids sat in their parents laps, or clutched their parent's hands.
It was around noon at the Hillsborough County Health Department Hargrett building on E. 26th Ave.
It's time for back to school immunization shots.
Vanessa Vazquez is 15. She got in and out in just a minute. Four shots and she was done.
"Now I'm happy I have the shots, so I won't get sick," she said.
The shots are required for every child, attending school, in Florida. Kindergartners need the most shots. But even the older kids must be up to date before they head to class.
Eliel is 4 years old and probably had no idea what he was about to encounter. He clutched his Batman and Spiderman figures, sitting on mom's lap.
As the first shot came in, he scrunched up his face and let out a loud yell.
All his mom could do was hold him still and look away as shots number two and three came, and the tears spilled down his face.
But thankfully, it took just a few minutes and an Apple-flavored lollypop to dry up his tears.
The shots are completely free to parents.
The Health Department office at 2002 E. 26th Ave. is the only office doing immunizations during the week.
But eight other clinics are offering Saturday shots and physicals. There are many different vaccinations and combination vaccines. Nurses say they can help parents figure out what shots their child already has, and what they still need.
Margaret Ewen, the Immunizations Program Manager says, "We don't want to create barriers, we want kids to be vaccinated, so we basically have it available for them."
Brittney Cruz, 16, just moved back after living in Australia and France for nine years. They don't have as many vaccines as the U.S. So when she tried to register for high school, she found out, she needed three more shots.
"I don't like them, but as long as they don't hurt, I don't mind," Brittney said.
Her mom said it's just something they have to get used to again.
"I think it's good because we know they are protected, but I think it's a little bit exaggerated. Coming from Australia and France, it's completely different to here. So we just need to get adjusted to the requirements here," said mom Leticia Larcher.
To find out about the immunizations and where the Saturday clinics are, follow this link:
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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