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‘Will you answer the call?’ Pop-up vaccine clinic at Museum of Science draws families

Sean Torpey comforted his son, Finn, 5, who received a vaccine during a clinic at the Museum of Science in Boston on SaturdayCraig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Lollipops and stickers were in abundance Saturday at the Museum of Science, which held a vaccination clinic for children and adults.

The clinic was the third held by the museum in the past four weeks, according to Carrie Nash, the museum’s director of public relations. And the museum will hold another one on Sunday.

Those who get vaccinated at the clinic will receive two free tickets to the museum, which recently debuted an exhibit chronicling the vaccine’s development. The clinic, dubbed “will you answer the call?” encourages visitors to come dressed as superheroes.

The superhero theme is an attempt to ease hesitancy among younger children who may be afraid of the vaccinations, Nash said.

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“It’s hard enough for children that age to get a shot,” she said.

Nash said the clinic is a “real tactical way we can serve our community.”

“It’s all about getting access to people and making sure that people can get the vaccine,” she said.

Saturday’s clinic comes three weeks after the museum’s first one on Nov. 13 and many patients returned to receive their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Nash said the initial clinic was such a success, with more than 1,000 vaccines administered, that the museum held a second event the following weekend. Both clinics were fully booked, she said.

Across those four days, more than 2,000 vaccines were administered, according to Nash.

“This is a moment for science like no other,” Nash said.

Mara Bushari, 39, of Brookline, said three of her four children received their second doses at the clinic on Saturday. She said the environment at the clinic, where lollipops and stickers were being handed out, made her kids, 11-year-old Stavi, 9-year-old Ari, and 7-year-old Liam, feel more comfortable.

“It was nice not to be in a doctor’s office,” she said. “The kids can get a little stressed in a doctor’s office. ... This just seemed easier.”

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Mara Bushari, right, comforted her daughter Stavi, 11, as she received a vaccination from nurse Jen Joyce during a vaccination clinic at Boston's Museum of Science on Saturday.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Bushari said she is immunocompromised, which prompted her to get her children vaccinated as soon as possible.

“It just seemed like the best thing to keep everyone safe,” she said.

Alyssa Thorvaldsen, 48, brought her two daughters, Lindsey Araujo, 11, and Emilene Araujo, 8, to get vaccinated at the clinic. She said she got her booster shot while her daughters received their second doses.

Thorvaldsen said she and her daughters waited for the nurse who vaccinated them last month to give them shots Saturday. The nurse had been wearing a unicorn horn, she said, and made the experience painless for her two kids.

“It was a great experience and then we get to have the fun of seeing the museum,” she said.

The clinic at the Museum of Science is one of many similar pop-ups running this weekend throughout the state.

The Springfield Museum is offering walk-in appointments for pediatric vaccines Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Chelsea Senior Center has appointments available to receive the Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Sunday, and a Stop & Shop in Everett is offering vaccination between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Department of Public Health.


Charlie McKenna can be reached at charlie.mckenna@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @charliemckenna9.