DALLAS - Dallas County is making plans to get younger people vaccinated against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control could approve the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds later this week.
The Federal Drug Administration gave the okay on Monday. Now providers are just waiting on the CDC to give it the thumbs up.
Pfizer said trials have shown the vaccine is 100% effective in adolescent children with no serious side effects. The FDA found children actually responded better to the vaccine than young adults.
The challenge will be convincing parents and families that the shot is safe for their kids.
"Now is the time so we can get our kids back to school safely and they can stay in school in person that’s really key and that’s what we all want for the kids to be back in person and school and vaccines is the way to get there," said Andrew Carroll, a family physician.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Fair Park is preparing to offer the vaccine to teens as soon as possible.
"Mom, so here’s what you need to know. Starting Friday, assuming that it is approved tomorrow, we’ll have the Pfizer vaccine for your kid. Now here’s how you will have to get that vaccine. It’s different from the way it works with adults. You can’t just drive up to get a vaccine without an appointment unless you are with your child," Jenkins said. "You can’t send your child with another person, unfortunately. So another mom can’t bring your child and grandma can’t bring your child. Since it’s a child, we require that you sign a form consenting to your child getting the shot."
Jenkins encouraged parents and caregivers to register their children on the Dallas County website to speed up the process.
The county is also working on a program with the Dallas school district to bus students to Fair Park for vaccinations with parental approval.
Jenkins said expanding the vaccine to teens will help get Texas closer to herd immunity but he believes more adults still need to be vaccinated to achieve that.