Nov 4, 2021 - COVID

Pediatric COVID vaccines arrive in Texas

Blue teddy bear with orange band-aid on its arm.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Texas health officials have asked the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ship Pfizer's pediatric COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 900 providers in 155 Texas counties over the next week.

Driving the news: The FDA expanded its emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine to include children ages 5-11, and the CDC on Tuesday endorsed the two-dose regimen for kids, the final step in the approval process. Vaccine doses started showing up in Texas on Monday.

The breakdown: The CDC will send more than 1 million doses to Texas health care providers to vaccinate children ages 5-11, state health officials said Wednesday.

  • Nearly 350,000 doses are en route to pharmacies across the state. More than three dozen Austin providers will receive an initial shipment of the pediatric vaccine over the next week, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.
  • More than 400,000 doses have already arrived in Texas, and 162,000 showed up Wednesday. The remaining shots will continue to ship through next week, state health officials said.

The big picture: Widespread vaccinations among children are necessary to slow coronavirus spread, but it remains to be seen whether parents — even those who are fully vaccinated — will jump to inoculate their children.

  • In Texas, 22 children have died from COVID complications, and 118 have been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, according to John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner.

If you're planning to vaccinate your child: Seek out providers who have received the pediatric vaccine, health officials say. The kids dose is a different formulation than the vaccine approved for adults.

  • Check whether your child's provider has received a vaccine shipment. State health officials also recommend making an appointment.

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