PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is making strides to get more people vaccinated, and now that also includes young children. CDC officials said the vaccine mini doses for children could prevent up to 600,000 new cases by next March.

So the race is on by vaccine providers to get the mini shots – into mini arms. It ramped up into full operation Thursday morning at the Kidvaxx clinic hosted by the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.

black doctors covid-19 consortium children

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Eight-year-old twin boys Charlie and Leo Sutton got their COVID-19 shots at the same time, all while holding hands.

After losing loved ones to the virus, their mom was emotional thinking about what’s next.

“They lost a lot. It’s time to get back to things,” she told CBS3.

The Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity is officially putting shots in the arms of children. With more than 8,000 children hospitalized nationwide with COVID, pediatrician Dr. Ala Stanford warned of the side effects of COVID infection.

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“Sometimes, they have problems with concentration, a lot of scholar athletes are having problems with hand eye coordination. A lot of this work is being done at Boston’s Children [Hospital], and we don’t know how long that’s going to last,” she told Eyewitness News.

Of the thousands of infected children nationwide, 173 are dying from complications. Children of color making up a great percentage of those lost. Dr. Stanford noted the importance of children getting vaccinated, saying anyone who is unvaccinated is more vulnerable.

“It gives the virus an opportunity to replicate or become more potent or more dangerous in unvaccinated individuals,” Dr. Stanford explained.

Philadelphia recently gained national attention for overcoming COVID disparities, and now the Center for Health Equity is going above and beyond to vaccinate as many children as possible, make the experience exciting.

“We have music for them. They can watch little videos. Being distracted certainly helps,” Dr. Stanford said.

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The shots are given by appointment, and the BDCC is having another kid vaccine clinic on Saturday.