Sites across Tarrant County began administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to children Thursday, following new guidelines from the CDC.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that the Pfizer vaccine be given to children as young as 12. Until now, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for people 16 and older.
“Today, we are expecting a fuller day at all of our clinics that are accepting kids 12 years and older,” Tarrant County Public Health director Vinny Taneja said Thursday.
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According to Taneja, there are roughly 122,000 children between ages 12 and 15 in Tarrant County and the age group makes up about 6% of the county population.
“When you add 12 years and older and you add 16 through 18, that’s a big number. Just the 12 through 15 is not a very big number, so we are hopeful parents will listen to our advice. Get these kids vaccinated,” Taneja said. “As these age groups open, let’s get as many of these people vaccinated. I’ve said this before, the Moderna and Pfizer…they’re highly effective.”
As of this week, more than 1.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in Tarrant County. The latest county data shows 28% of Tarrant County residents have received at least one dose and about 22% are fully vaccinated.
Heather Edenfield of Keller took her daughter Caitlyn to White Settlement to get the vaccine Thursday. The county opened a new site this week in White Settlement by the SplashDayz Waterpark parking lot. Edenfield said their entire immediate family is fully vaccinated, but they’re now just waiting for Caitlyn.
“Once she is fully vaccinated, we’re going to be able to see family, travel, we definitely want to get out and travel. It’s just been a very, very hard time. Her not being able to see friends, the anxiety she has going out,” Edenfield said. “Get the vaccine, get your kids the vaccine. Don’t be ridiculous. Just do it and let’s all get back to life. Don’t make it political, either. It’s not political. It’s your health. It’s your kid’s health.”
Saul Becerra, 14, of River Oaks and his sister were vaccinated Thursday as well. They were accompanied by their mother who has been vaccinated, though Becerra said he made the decision to get the vaccine.
“I have been waiting for a while to come. I’ve been quarantined twice at school and yeah, I was just waiting for them to release we can get it too,” he said. “Just protecting myself and others, being mindful of them.”
Parents are reminded to bring their child’s birth certificate with them if they choose to get vaccinated or another form of documentation that includes their birthdate. Parents also need to bring their ID’s.