ATLANTA - After spending nearly a tenth of his young life stuck at home because of the pandemic, 13-year-old Presley Lindsey and his mom Dorothy are on their way to get his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
"I feel really excited," Dorothy Lindsey says. "We're still going to be cautious, especially in large crowds. But he can come and have dinner with us."
Presley's middle school shut down in March of 2020.
Presley and Dorothy Lindsey pose with their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine cards outside Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium Wednesday.
Since then, the Atlanta seventh-grader has been taking classes online and connecting with his friends over the phone.
"It's been a bit stressful, because of school," Pressley says. "It's been really hard to do stuff that I like. So, I like to go to summer camp and stuff, and last summer was really boring for me."
Dorothy Lindsey says getting vaccinated is a big step after a long year of isolation.
"I worried about him becoming very, overly stressed and fearful about COVID, about illness in general," she says. "I worried about him losing some of the independence that is so important for a 13-year-old."
Presley's parents are both fully vaccinated.
So, when Jason and Dottie Presley heard Georgia had begun vaccinating teens 12 to 15, 12-they immediately got him an appointment for his first shot here at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown Atlanta.
"It was a no-brainer," Dorothy Lindsey says. "We've been talking about it for a long time.
The risks were so great, the idea of him getting sick or passing it on to somebody else, that the risk of the vaccine just seemed really low, based on everything we know.
Presley Lindsey will not be fully vaccinated until about mid-June, but he is already making plans.
"I will definitely go to more restaurants, indoors, and hang out with my friends, like have a sleepover with them, maybe go to the movie theater, maybe go to an arcade with them," he says.
When it was finally time to head into Mercedes-Benz Stadium, for his shot, Presley says it was "cool."
He was a little bit nervous right before receiving his inoculation.
"But, as soon as the shot went in, I wasn't nervous at all," he says.
And Presley and mom now have matching tickets out of the pandemic.
So, mine is from Walgreens. and they ran out of cardstock, but we've got our vaccine cards to show that we're vaccinated."
It's been a long 15 months, she says.
"We've been waiting for it, we've been waiting for it, and we're excited to try to put this behind us now," she says.
Presley will begin in-person classes next fall at a new middle school.
It is one that he has never been inside because of the pandemic.
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