RICHMOND (KPIX) — Friday was the first day that Contra Costa County was offering vaccination shots to residents ages 5 to 11. If the early turnout is any indication, parents — and their kids — are ready for the shots.

“I got to leave school early,” said 6-year-old Audrey in Richmond. “A little nervous, but I’m really excited now that I’ve got my first dose.”

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For the first time in a long time, getting vaccinated meant standing in line for many as a lot of kids skipped school — with their parents — to take a step closer to the end of the pandemic.

“We got to keep the kids from school today for the vaccine,” said mother Renata Braga. “It’s a big thing for him, because he’s always afraid of something happening.”

“You know, being inoculated as a parent, it was very hard to have a chink in the armor be the youngest in my family,” said father Johnny Garcia.

So from Richmond to Antioch, East Bay families raced to grab the first appointments offered by Contra Costa County.

“This is very exciting for us,” said Amanda Metter. “We’ve been waiting a long time. Charlotte’s condition keeps her indoors during this COVID time. So this is exciting that we can start going back out again, and she can go back to school.”

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For Metter and her daughter Charlotte, this day was long awaited, and a tremendous relief.

“Because I get to go places again,” Charlotte said. “And it’s just really exciting.”

And the excitement is enough to fill appointments in some locations.

“I saw, later in the day, that appointments were available,” Braga said of her search for an appointment on Thursday. “I tried it; it was really hard. There were some really far away.”

“All my friends, I’m pretty sure, are getting vaccinated,” Audrey said. “Like this week, or next week.”

A wider rollout is coming, including dozens of school campuses that will hold vaccine clinics. But for a lot of families, this was something that couldn’t wait.

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“Pins and needles,” Amanda Metter said of the wait. “Very exciting for us today. It’s the next step.”