AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Department of State Health Services says pediatricians will play a big role in vaccinating children ages 5-11 against COVID-19.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines Committee could approve smaller doses of the Pfizer vaccine for younger children in the coming weeks, with FDA and CDC emergency approvals possible.
At a briefing Monday, DSHS said there are about 2.9 million children eligible for injections, and Texas will receive 1.3 million doses initially.
The agency said it “actively encourages” pediatricians to enroll and become official vaccine suppliers.
“For all those already registered, we have communicated closely and encouraged them to place orders within the system to ensure they get some of the first doses arriving in Texas,” said Imelda Garcia, the DSHS associate Commissioner of Laboratory and Infectious Disease Services.
Austin pediatrician Dr. Samuel Mirrop told KXAN his office plans to provide the vaccines, but said providing them can be “complicated” at times.
Mirrop said that unlike other vaccines, the COVID vaccines are not supplied directly from the manufacturer, but from the government.
“Another tricky part is after you get the vaccine, like adults, [children] Had to wait 15 minutes,” he said. “We only have so many exam rooms to be able to try that during our regular office hours.”