Doctors recommend that children 12 years of age or older receive the approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, especially those with underlying diseases.
DALLAS – According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, children with underlying medical conditions are more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease.
The conditions listed on the CDC website are:
- Asthma or chronic lung disease
- Genetic, neurological or metabolic conditions
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart disease from birth
- Medical complexity
The list does not include all the underlying conditions that may increase the risk factor for children.
Doctors and experts from across Texas met Thursday to encourage families with children 12 and older to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to their children.
“This has gone through a very rigorous process,” said Allison Winnike, president of the Immunization Partnership.
He testified before the CDC committee Wednesday.
“We have the data to show that these vaccines are safe and effective,” Winnike said.
Winnike said there has been an increase in hospitalizations for children with coronavirus. New variants of COVID-19 also appear to affect children more.
“It’s so critical and exciting that we have the opportunity to protect these children 12 years or older,” Winnike said.
Dr. Dawn Hood-Patterson with Cook Children in Fort Worth expects her patients to be vaccinated as well.
“We just want caregivers and parents to know that the Pfizer vaccine is safe and is the best option to protect children from COVID-19,” Hood-Patterson said.
Children’s Health announced Thursday that it will begin administering vaccines to children 12 and older starting Tuesday, May 18 at Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Plano, along with emerging clinics and school district associations.
“I understand the potential anxiety of parents,” Dr. Jeffrey Kahn said. He is the director of infectious diseases at Children’s Health.
“These vaccines are very well tolerated and so far millions of doses have been given safely,” Kahn said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins held a press conference Thursday at Parkland Memorial Hospital. He confidently showed his teenage daughter taking the Pfizer vaccine.
Jenkins said, “I hope what we tell you today is a reassuring message that the vaccine is safe for your child and should not be delayed in getting it.”
In Dallas County, parents can enroll their children on the Dallas County Health and Services website.
Vaccines are already being distributed throughout North Texas to children 12 years of age and older.