AUSTIN (KXAN) — U.S. health officials approved a kid-sized Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine late Tuesday night. With the announcement, pharmacies and health providers in Austin-Travis County are moving to get shots into arms by as early as this week.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says over the next few days, Texas will have received more than 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine. Those doses will go to more than 900 providers, including many in Austin-Travis County.
Where do I get my kids vaccinated?
Austin Public Health and Seton Medical Center Austin are both expected to receive more than 5,000 doses of pediatric vaccine. Lamar Plaza Drug Store, Tarrytown Pharmacy, Southwest Pediatric Associates Austin and Wildflower Pediatrics will all get more than 1,000 doses during that first round of vaccine shipment.
Dozens of other clinics in Austin and surrounding counties like 411 Pediatrics, Bee Caves Pediatrics Austin and One Medical are also slotted to get hundreds of doses.
To find a pediatric vaccine, check out KXAN’s story on places to get your kids a COVID-19 vaccine in Austin-Travis County.
When will vaccinations start happening?
Many clinics are preparing to start giving those shots over the next few days and are taking appointments now. Depending on who your appointment is through, there could be a bit of a wait as floods of parents work to get their kids vaccinated at the same time.
Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin says between 4:00 p.m. and midnight Tuesday night, they had more than 6,500 people book appointments for pediatric vaccines.
“I think now that we’ve been here for almost a year now, with these vaccines, most parents know whether they’re going to get their kids vaccinated and they’re just ready to get it done and hopefully resume a little bit of normalcy to their life and their school routines,” Ellie Studdard, pharmacist at Tarrytown Pharmacy.
Other FAQs about pediatric COVID-19 vaccines
Is the pediatric vaccine different than the adult version?
This vaccine will be one-third of the adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Smaller needles, designed specifically for children, will also be used.
How effective is the vaccine in preventing illness in kids?
Similar to what was seen in adult vaccine trials, vaccination was nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 among children aged 5-11 years during clinical trials.
Will my child experience side effects?
During clinical trials, side effects in kids were mild and similar to what adults experienced. According to the CDC, the most common side effect was a sore arm.
“Side effects wise, from the studies that they did, it looks very similar to the adult doses so the kids might be a little tired the next day, definitely the sore arm,” Studdard said.
How do I prepare my child for an appointment?
Studdard says in her experience, the worst part of vaccinations for kids is always the anticipation. She says at Terrytown they work to get kids in and out as quickly as possible. She says answering kids questions in advance will help ease the process.
According to the CDC, it is not recommended you give pain relievers to your kids before vaccination to try to prevent side effects.
Will my child have to get two doses of this vaccine?
Yes, similar to how the Pfizer shot works for adults, kids will need another dose of the vaccine down the line to be fully protected against COVID-19. That second dose is given roughly three weeks after the first dose.