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10-year-old girl anxiously awaits vaccine approval

10-year-old Alaya Horne started a wish list of everything she wants to do once fully vaccinated

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — After more than a year of learning virtually due to the pandemic, one Fulton County 4th grader's school year is beginning to show more signs of normalcy.

But the reminders of the pandemic are not far away for 10-year-old Alaya Horne.

"We still have to wear masks," she explained of district policies. "We still have to stay with our own class. We all have our own assigned areas."

Alaya told 11Alive that she's ready to ditch her mask, but as safety measures continue, she admits fewer kids are absent these days.

According to the latest data from Fulton County Schools, there have only been two new COVID-19 cases at Alaya's school in the past month. Meanwhile, the district report shows that cases continue to decline across area schools. 

It's a promising sign as Alaya watches and waits for her turn to get the vaccine. 

At 10, Alaya is not yet eligible for the vaccine, but that doesn't mean she hasn't started making a list of everything she wants to do once her age group gets the green light.

At the top of her list? 

"Disney World," Alaya said. 

But it's not just the most magical place on earth that's on her mind. It's also the small things she's looking forward to. 

Credit: Shara Horne

"I want a sleepover with Stacey and Charlie," Alaya added. She also wants to go to Minecraft camp with a friend, an idea that has been on hold since 2020. 

She also wishes for the time when she and her friends can play inside, no mask required. 

"I want to see Audrey without a mask," she said, referring to a recent visit with a West Coast friend. "I couldn't really that much until we took a picture, and we took off our masks."

Editor's Note: The Learning Curve is an ongoing series on 11Alive and 11Alive.com that will follow the stories of local students as they navigate this unprecedented school year.