HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – COVID-19 booster shots are now going into the arms of 12- to 15-year-olds. Clinics are underway at Hartford Hospital after the CDC gave the final green light Wednesday night.

Health officials say this is another milestone in the ongoing fight against the pandemic. On Thursday, Hartford HealthCare boosted children 12 to 15 Thursday. The kids getting the shot were among some of the first in the country in their age group to get vaccinated back in May.

Sara Omar, 14, was the first in her age group to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot at Hartford Hospital.

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“We have a new year and a new outcome for COVID,” Omar said.

The CDC gave the green light Wednesday, paving the way for Connecticut to begin clinics first thing Thursday morning. Boosters were already encouraged for children 15 and up.

More than 135,000 12 to 15-year-olds have been vaccinated across the state. Officials believe boosting this group will have a big impact on keeping kids in school amid the winter surge because the CDC does not require vaccinated and boosted people to quarantine following exposure.

“Being able to be more safe around my friends and especially my family. Me being safe for them is the most important thing for me,” Omar said.

Hartford HealthCare officials mark the occasion as another key milestone in the pandemic.

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“By vaccinated a whole other age group, which is going to be five million, that represents another whole that we can close so we can vaccinate them, so we can prevent transmission, not necessarily for the kids themselves, but for those who might not do well with the vaccination,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu.

The eight children among the first 12- to 15-year-olds in the country to be vaccinated and boosted. Their reason is their community.

“It has been tough with the two years, online school, and not being able to see friends. It’s hard on a teenager, but with these vaccines going forward, this can truly help heal our country,” Charles Muro said.

Hartford HealthCare says if you have a child ages 12 to 15 that has been vaccinated and you are eligible for a booster, you can schedule that right now.