covid-19 vaccine

Pediatricians Begin to Receive COVID-19 Vaccines for Children

Doctors say vaccine administration inside local pediatrician offices could help combat vaccine hesitancy among parents and broaden accessibility and convenience

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Local pediatricians' offices are starting to receive doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for their young patients.

Public health leaders say this could go a long way in combating vaccine hesitancy among parents.

15-year-old Jordan Moreno just got his COVID-19 vaccine inside the Fort Worth doctor's office he's been going to for as long as he can remember.

"I have been going here since I was little so it's like a regular doctor's appointment. Nothing too special. It felt like I was getting the flu shot," said Moreno.

That level of comfort also helped make his grandmother Patricia Martinez's decision to vaccinate Jordan an easy one.

"I've been coming here for 40 years," said Martinez. "I do trust them. I trust them with my own children and my grandchildren. I trust them entirely."

Trust and convenience are what public health experts say will be key to vaccinating all children who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Right now, it's approved for children as young as 12.

Parent hesitancy remains high, even though doctors say the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children and could be critical to a return to normal.

"Really really important to teenage life is activities, sports, friends and it's important to their mental health. I think that those go hand in hand. We have a vaccination available for teens to really get back to normal for everybody," said UNT Health Science Center's Priya Bui, D.O.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports 5,119 providers have registered to give the COVID-19 shot to children.

The number is made up of pediatricians, pharmacies and other specialties that serve pediatric populations.

The hope is as the school year ends and school district-run clinics possibly close, parents will turn to their child's trusted pediatrician for answers.

"I think a lot of times, there are simple questions, like knowing that we trust the science, what we think about it, if we have reviewed it. If they hear that from their pediatrician, someone they’ve known for so long, it goes a long way and so we enjoy having those conversations," said Dr. Bui.

Jordan said he got his shot to protect others.

"So I don't spread it to anybody. If I were to spread it to somebody close to me, I'd feel bad," said Jordan.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine for you or your child, visit the NBC News Plan Your Vaccine site.

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