AUSTIN, Texas — The first round of Texas kids under 12 were vaccinated against COVID-19 Wednesday. It comes a day after the CDC officially gave the Pfizer shot the green light.
Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine started arriving in Texas on Monday and more than a million doses will become available through next week. While kids are less likely to get severely ill from the virus, so far in Texas, 22 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have died. More than 100 have been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, a rare complication associated with COVID-19.
“Fortunately kids are less likely to be severely ill, but this vaccine can minimize that risk even more,” said Dr. Michael Chang, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UTHealth Houston.
But a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that parents are still hesitant to get their kids vaccinated with 28% saying they’ll do it right away, 35% taking a wait-and-see approach and 32% saying they definitely won’t do it.
Dr. Chang said it’s going to take a lot of education and outreach of trusted providers talking to families.
“It’s proven to be safe and effective, but parents still have questions that need to be addressed and so I really hope that providers will reach out to families, reach out to their patients and talk to them about parents’ concerns,” he said.
The Pfizer vaccine is the same given to adults, but about a third of the dose is to try to less the side effects in children.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Dr. Chang.