Milwaukee third grader gets vaccine 9 months after President Biden reassured her about COVID
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- In February, people in the Milwaukee area got a rare chance to talk to President Joe Biden during a CNN Town Hall at the Pabst Theater. One of them is a now third grader who dreamed of being protected from COVID-19. On Thursday, her dreams came true.
Nine months ago, when the president came to Milwaukee, he comforted Layla Salas. Layla, now 9, was scared about catching COVID, and she hoped to travel with her family again. Now those fears are vanishing.
Thursday was a wet and dreary day, but nothing could rain on Layla's parade.
"Inside, my heart was beating. Like finally. Finally, the time has come," Layla told CBS 58 during an interview.
She and her parents breathed sighs of relief last week when Pfizer's vaccine was approved for 5 to 11-year-olds.
"Why do we have to get a second dose?" Layla asked a nurse at Aurora Health Center Thursday.
"That is to make sure that vaccine really gets into your system to protect you the most," the nurse responded.
The Salas kids have some experience asking the tough questions. In February, their mom, Jessica, got to ask Biden a question during the CNN Town Hall.
"(My children) are watching as others get the vaccine and they would like to know when will kids be able to get the vaccine," she said.
Biden addressed Layla in his response: "Don't be scared. You're going to be fine. And we're going to make sure mommy is fine, too."
After months and months of dreading virtual school and mask-wearing, Layla and her brother, 7-year-old Mateo, got a shot of hope at Aurora Health Center, when they were able to get their first vaccine doses.
"From the day that I asked the question, 'When are the kids going to get a vaccine,' I've been asking and bothering my mom to know," Layla explained.
Their parents got some peace of mind.
"It's just nice knowing that the whole family's vaccinated and we can feel safer just going about our daily lives," Jessica Salas said.
Layla and Mateo will come back in three weeks for their second dose. She said it's a great early Christmas present.
Layla said the shot hurt less than the flu shot, and now she hopes the president can help her achieve another goal.
"Now, will you let me go to the White House, Joe Biden?" she asked.
The president wrote the Salas family a letter earlier this year saying when they were vaccinated, they should come visit him in Washington DC. CBS 58 News reached out to his office to find out if that offer still stands, but did not immediately hear back.