Health and government agencies across North Texas are making preparations for the possibility that the FDA and CDC will come to a consensus next week to allow Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for children between the ages of 12 and 15. The Pfizer vaccine is already allowed for anyone 16 and older.
Dallas County has allowed the parents of these children to register for a vaccine for weeks now to allow for an easier rollout when the eligibility expansion is approved. There are currently already more than 5,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15 registered.
Dallas Fair Park will play a major role in vaccinating these children and teens.
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“We’ll have all 19 of our lanes open once it is available and we will be able to get thousands and thousands of kids every day and we will have other sites as well,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “You may see different districts hosting things or cities hosting things at their convention center or whatever for the schools.”
Jenkins said they are also working on plans to help parents who can’t be there in person with their child.
“We have a program that where if someone else brings you… like the school brings you to a vaccine site… they can bring a form that we are working on that is signed by your mom or dad so that you can get your vaccine,” Jenkins explained.
Jenkins hopes parents will see the benefit in allowing their children to get vaccinated.
“You shouldn’t be afraid to get your child that vaccine. I’ve got a 15-year-old and just as soon as we’re eligible she is ready to get her vaccine and get the freedom and security that comes with getting that,” Jenkins said.
In Tarrant County, Cook Children Medical Center will send patients to Texas Health Resources and MedStar is prepared to host Pfizer clinics for children when the approval comes.
Denton County is also working on plans ahead of the pending approval.
“We’re currently in planning stages for future clinic locations, to ensure we’re able to vaccinate teens throughout the county once that change has been made for the state,” Denton County representative Jennifer Rainey said.
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.
You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.