A COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Fort Worth is now offering vaccines to children between 5 and 11 following approval from the CDC.
Parents lined up Thursday afternoon outside the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center in Fort Worth with their children to receive their first vaccine dose. The clinic, which had already offered initial doses and booster shots, is a partnership between the city of Fort Worth and Fort Worth ISD.
It is open to families both within Fort Worth ISD and other school districts, according to Fort Worth ISD spokesperson Rebecca Slack. No insurance information or appointments are necessary. Slack emphasized Thursday, the decision to vaccinate younger children is at the sole discretion of their parents or guardian.
Catherine Parra of Arlington brought her three children to be vaccinated Thursday.
“They’re going to be protected, and we’re going to be able to protect our family around us and friends,” Parra said. “My husband and I are both healthcare workers, so we understand the impact of COVID and so do these guys. I’m proud of them.”
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention signed off on a recommendation that Pfizer’s lower-dose COVID-19 vaccine be available to children 5 to 11. As a result, more than 28 million children across the country are now eligible to receive their vaccines. The vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds is 10 micrograms, compared to the 30 micrograms given to those ages 12 and up. Similar to the vaccine for older age groups, it is given in two doses three weeks apart.
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James Dunn brought his daughter who attends school within Keller ISD.
“We’ve been waiting forever to get back to normal and this is going to help,” Dunn said. “And then we can go to school. We haven’t even started school. She’s starting kindergarten virtual, so we’re excited to go back to school.”
Some providers in Tarrant County are still waiting to receive their shipments of children’s vaccines. MedStar spokesperson Matt Zavadsky said they expect their allotment of vaccines to be available for children next week.
“It is likely that the initial round of pediatric doses are going to be in high demand, because there’s pent up demand. Much like we saw with adults when the vaccines first came out last year, there were people standing in line for hours because of vaccines,” Zavadsky said. “There are parents who really want to get their kids vaccinated so in the beginning, it’s certainly going to be one that will have a lot demand. We’ll probably require registration but probably soon after that, it will be a little bit more available.”
For now, MedStar will continue to offer initial doses and booster shots. Doses administered at their clinic on Thursday required pre-registration due to higher demand. Tammy Cartwright, an EMT, received her booster shoot on Thursday.
“I just want to be safe. I’m around a lot of very sick patients, you know? I take dialysis patients, the elderly,” Cartwright said. “I would rather be the safe one for them. For them, they might not be able to.”
The clinic at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center located at 5201 C. A. Robertson Blvd. is set up as a drive-thru, though parents with younger kids may exit their cars to receive the vaccine. They will continue to offer initial vaccine doses and boosters for those who are eligible.
Clinic hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays were recently expanded:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.