Santa Clara County began providing COVID-19 vaccines to children ages six months to 5-years-old for the first time Tuesday.
Many parents had been waiting for this day for months to get their youngest children added protection against coronavirus.
Some parents say this added protection also represents newfound freedoms for their entire family.
Lizzy and Chris Fernando of San Jose have been preparing their 3-year-old son Carter for this day by watching cartoon episodes about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Now that Carter is vaccinated, his parents are relieved he's on his way to being fully vaccinated.
"We've been waiting for this moment for a while and wanted him to be protected as soon as possible," the father said. "It's been a long two years of keeping him in the house and limiting his access to people."
The Fernandos say the vaccine is a big step toward getting back to normal and traveling.
"We are looking to go to Chicago to see family that have not seen Carter since he was nine months old," the mother said. "We have a trip planned for August."
They also said they feel more comfortable sending Carter to preschool in the fall now that he has the Moderna vaccine.
They were one of several families who booked appointments online to get their youngest children vaccinated at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
Dr. Ahmad Kamal, Santa Clara County's Director of Healthcare Preparedness said "the vaccine is absolutely safe for kids ages months to five years," as he explained extensive studies by the CDC and FDA.
A total of 530 COVID-19 vaccines were administered to kids at three sites in Santa Clara County Tuesday.