TUCSON, Ariz. — It's not often that kids ask to see the doctor for their birthday, but 12-year-old twins Parker and Ben Madsen wanted to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they could.
The twins' birthday wish came true, and the pair got their shots during a visit to a local pharmacy after school.
"We wanted to get it as soon as possible because our great aunt and great uncle passed away from it, so we wanted to get vaccinated to be safe from COVID-19," Parker said.
The Madsens' Great Aunt Gwen and Great Uncle Mike died of COVID-19 just eight days apart. Unfortunately, they passed away just before the vaccine was available to them.
"They were very much on the page of science, waiting for the vaccines," said B.J. Maden, the boys' mother. "And that was something that, you know, they got sick before the vaccines were widely available. So, it's really hard for us."
The twins said the appointment was anti-climatic.
"When you get it, it's just a little pinch. It hurts more afterward than it does the shot," Ben said.
Getting vaccinated was something they saw their parents and older brother do months before.
"[You] just go in and get the shot," said Seth Madsen, Ben's and Parker's brother.
After getting their shots, the boys had a small, COVID-19-safe pizza party to celebrate with their vaccinated friends. The boys even got new electric scooters.
"We just invited like a few people for just like a day-long, just hang out at our house, I guess," Parker said.
"We all wore masks," Ben added.
The family knows their aunt and uncle, who they saw as grandparents, would be proud.
"I think I'd say you're safe. So, I guess you guys can celebrate," Parker said.
This story was originally published by Ciara Encinas on Scripps station KGUN in Tucson, Arizona.