OTTAWA -- A big day for nine-year-old Aiden Schulz as he gets his first COVID-19 vaccine shot at CHEO, in spite of his fear of needles.

"I feel nervous and a bit scared," said Schulz.

Aiden's mom, Tracy, chose CHEO's clinic hoping the smaller environment puts her son at ease.

"The hospital is meant for kids and I’ve been here before," said the young Schulz.

Both were bracing for the appointment based on their past experiences with other shots. 

"We had to hold him down," said Tracy Schulz. "He lost it for an hour….wound up having him sit on my lap, my sister and mom had to pin him down. That’s how he got his flu shot."

The first weekend of paediatric vaccination clinics saw more than 5,000 doses administered in Ottawa as those ages 5 to 11 roll up their sleeves.

However, the push to get jabs into the arms of Ottawa residents over the age of 12 continues.

Ottawa Public Health reporting 91 per cent of residents 12 and older have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 88 per cent have two doses and are considered fully vaccinated.

Certain parts of the city are reporting higher vaccination numbers than other areas. The updated Ottawa Neighbourhood Study says in certain neighbourhoods, numbers hover in the 70 per cent range.

For instance, the vaccination rate in Ledbury – Heron Gate- Ridgemont has one of the lowest vaccination neighbourhoods in the city at 71 per cent. However, the latest numbers show an increase of nearly four per cent through the month of November.

"I think the key is not to push," said Kelli Tonner, the executive director for the South East Ottawa Community Health Centre.

Tonner suggests these numbers are a direct result of the outreach, pop-up clinics and information sessions throughout the community and with help from neighbourhood ambassadors and resident leaders. 

"With patience, with consistent easy access and continued information with trusted providers, we will keep seeing those numbers go up," said Tonner.

Back at CHEO, it’s all smiles for the Schulz family as they made their way to the car post-COVID vaccine shot.

"They froze his arm with a bit of spray," said Tracy Schulz. "There was a fair bit of tears but it was definitely better than last time."

Though he is still afraid of needles, Aiden said he is ready for his second shot scheduled for January.