LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For Mari-Elise Paul, being able to get her daughter vaccinated against COVID-19 was something that brought her to tears. Tears of joy because it means her family can return to a sense of normalcy. 

What You Need To Know

  • Mari-Elise Paul’s daughter has just gotten the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Four-year-old Stella is immunocompromised and had a heart transplant 

  • Stella had mild symptoms after getting the vaccine

  • Norton Children’s is hosting vaccination clinics for children ages six months to five-years-old

Her four-year-old daughter, Stella, is immunocompromised and had to have a heart transplant when she was only eight months old. Since then, Stella is doing much better, but her family has been limited in what activities they’ve been able to do.

“We have been living our lives in the pandemic, really secluded from society,” Paul said. “We don’t know how COVID-19 would affect our daughter if she were to test positive for it, so we have been masking, we have been keeping her at home, we have been trying to keep her as safe as possible.”

With this last hurdle behind her, Stella can now prepare for the next big chapter of her very busy life: preschool.

“We will be able to travel as a family and she’ll catch up on those social milestones that she hasn’t been able to achieve yet,” Paul said. 

Paul got her daughter’s shot at Norton Children’s, which began administering doses last week. Paul says side effects wise, Stella only had a small fever for a few hours.

“Later that evening she was feeling completely fine, ready to go her wild self,” Paul said.

Norton Healthcare’s COVID-19 Director Carrie Regnier said so far, they’ve administered over 500 shots to kids in Stella’s age group, and have appointments for close to 1,000 more.

“Lots of smiling faces, lots of happy parents this weekend and you know, the kiddos did great too. Lots of talking about, ‘Hey you know, once you get this vaccine that means that we can start going places more we can see more people,’” Regnier said.

Apportionments can be made to get your child vaccinated here. Norton Children’s is currently only taking appointments for kids five and younger at its Audubon Pharmacy in Louisville.

Regnier adds if parents still have questions about if the vaccine is right for their child, they are encouraged to reach out to the pediatrician.