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12-year-old received COVID-19 vaccine on birthday, now fully vaccinated

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A 12-year-old boy in La Crosse is sharing his vaccination story in the hopes of encouraging other families to get their children vaccinated.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - A 12-year-old boy in La Crosse is sharing his vaccination story in the hopes of encouraging other families to get their children vaccinated.

Hank Berendes received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine back on September 9th, it was his 12th birthday. On Thursday, Hank received the second dose of the vaccine at Gundersen Health System.

Hank and his mother Polly say their family is pro-vaccine and they are hopeful that sharing their story will encourage parents to get their kids vaccinated as soon as they are eligible.

"We're hoping that other people will feel comfortable knowing that it's safe," Hank's Mother Polly Berendes said. "None of us had any big side effects, we are all feeling great, we have not had COVID. We feel like it's an important part of being a citizen in our country and in the world."

Hank said he had no concerns about getting the vaccine but was hoping to feel good enough to make it to football practice Thursday evening.

"I think it will be safer for me because there is a lot lower chance of me getting it," Hank said. "And it helps protect my friends and stuff."

Hank was actually born at the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse on September 9th, 2009. He was born at 9:09 a.m. and weighed 9lbs 9o.z.

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