AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Amarillo Public Health Department has already ordered 100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for kids as young as six months old, which will soon be available after the CDC gave final approval over the weekend.
Now, parents of children six months to four years old can decide whether to vaccinate their kids with either Pfizer or Moderna’s lower dose vaccine shots.
On Tuesday, the Amarillo Public Health Department said they had ordered their first shipment and expect it to arrive early this week.
“Just as soon as it gets here, we’ll be able to start administering vaccines,” said APH Director Casie Stoughton. “So if you’re interested in that vaccine for your little one, please give us a call and we will certainly put it on Amarillo alerts as soon as we have the vaccine available.”
Stoughton said pediatrician’s offices and pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS will likely have the lower-dose vaccines for young children available soon as well.
“There may be some different requirements as far as pharmacies go with that age group. So it’s great to go ahead and call ahead check to see if they are able to give, give the vaccine to to that age group,” she said. “But definitely pediatrician’s offices, doctor’s offices, the Public Health Department, we’re so excited to be able to give the vaccine to little ones.”
According to Stoughton, now is a good time to get young kids vaccinated because kids can have protection against COVID-19 by the time school starts.
“In our family, we just kind of consider this just like a back to school vaccine and so this is the best time to do it when we’re not busy. As we get closer to back to school, we’ll certainly get a little busier.”
She continued, “It really does offer some really great peace of mind that not only can the kids go back to school with that protection, but also they can really enjoy school and, and not have to worry about quarantine and illness and you know, just really be able to enjoy school and all the extracurricular activities that that offers.”
Stoughton also said it’s important for parents to know that vaccines are safe and have been studied thoroughly.
“They had to go through all of the same safety studies that the other vaccines did, and that other vaccines do, and so I think that that’s really important to make sure that we as parents know that, as we’re making that decision for our kiddos, that it’s it is important to know that safety is is a huge consideration and that this vaccine, while it has been delayed, it’s been delayed so that the FDA, the CDC, those that are responsible for making sure that this comes to market, it comes to market safely,” Stoughton added. “And so, as a mom, I certainly appreciate that and I’m looking forward to to our entire family being vaccinated.”
She also said while COVID-19 cases in our area are increasing, hospitalizations and deaths have remained low because the vaccines are working well.
“We’re really hopeful that that trend continues, that the more people that we have vaccinated, the the lower our hospitalizations and deaths will be,” Stoughton said. “The vaccines are that great insurance policy that we purchase against severe illness.”
Stoughton said vaccination is important right now, especially as Omicron is still the predominant strain.
“Eevery time the virus is transmitted, it does provide an opportunity for a new variant and so the more people we have vaccinated, the more times that we can slow transmission, the better protection we have against a new variant as well,” she said.
APHD is open Monday-Friday for vaccinations. Stoughton also said there are several mobile clinics scheduled as well.
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