As soon as the Pfizer vaccine received federal approval for kids 12 to 15, mother Kate Hoedebeck made an appointment for her 14-year-old daughter at Dougherty’s Pharmacy for Friday.
Her daughter is a high school freshman involved in tennis and the marching band.
“She’s had a great freshman year but there’s always this dark cloud hanging over her ‘If I participate in this will I end up quarantining or worse with COVID?’” Hodebeck said.
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With two younger children not yet eligible for the shot, Hodebeck said they were excited about having one more family member protected from the virus and planning summer vacations again.
“If we can have one more family member who is vaccinated that’ll make us feel even better,” Hodebeck said.
So where can you find your child the vaccine?
The Fair Park hub site will start administering the Pfizer doses to those as young as 12 starting on Friday.
Tarrant County Public Health said their providers would start offering the shot to eligible adolescents on Thursday. Parents can just show up with their children. No pre-registration is required, however, if parents want to make an appointment they can register for one online.
“They can just go and get this done as quickly as possible and I hope they will do,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “If they’ve got questions I hope that they will go and talk to their pediatricians or their doctor about those questions and not dependent on what they might find or read on social media.”
Neighborhood pharmacies may also be the easiest place for parents to find their child the vaccine.
Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreen’s along with Walmart, Costco and grocery store chains now all offer the Pfizer vaccine.
You may still want to make an online appointment, but many allow walk-ins.
Dougherty's Pharmacy Lead Clinical Charmacist Dawn Moshier said their phones have been ringing non-stop over the last several days.
"It’s crazy. It’s like it was in the beginning when people wanted COVID shots and they couldn’t get them. It’s the same thing," said Moshier. "The parents are vaccinated, so they want the whole family vaccinated. They want to be comfortable.”
Moshier said they're taking roughly 200 appointments a day, which have already filled through Saturday.
She's urging parents to remain patient, though she knows many are eager.
Keith Mattson was among those who started searching for an appointment for his 15-year-old ahead of Wednesday's green light from the CDC.
With another one of his five children suffering from severe asthma, he's been counting down the days until another person in his household could get the vaccine.
“I feel safer with them going out with their friends more and just helping their emotional health as well," said Mattson.
He said he didn't have trouble getting a time slot at a nearby CVS, which is currently registering those 12 to 15 at thousands of locations across the country.
Finding the vaccine at your child’s pediatrician’s office may be tougher.
NBC 5 reached out to some of the major North Texas pediatric clinics. Doctors told us they are still sorting through the process of becoming a provider with the state.
Dr. Sharon Davis, Chief Medical Officer at Los Barrios Unidos, said they applied to become a provider and were eager to receive their shipment of Pfizer doses and start vaccinating patients.
“We need kids back to school. We need people back at work and so this is going to be a big step in getting children back into school this fall,” said Dr. Davis.
In anticipation of the Pfizer decision, The Texas Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to pediatrician offices last week urging them to enroll in the COVID-19 vaccine program.
The Texas Department of Safety and Health Services reminds providers that parental consent is required for the vaccination of children in this age group. Consent may be given orally or in writing; the parent or guardian does not need to be present for the adolescent to be vaccinated, unless required by the vaccine provider.