By Caroline Vandergriff

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – More than 1.3 million doses of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are being shipped to providers across Texas this week.

Both the CDC and FDA have now approved the shots for children 5 to 11-years-old.

READ MORE: Tanker Truck Full Of Fuel Hangs Over Bridge After Collision At Loop 12, Shady Grove

The rollout of the pediatric shot in North Texas will be different than what we saw when the vaccine for adults was first available.

Children can get their dose at hundreds of locations across the metroplex, from public health agencies to pediatrician’s offices.

“Public health department got it,” said Vinny Taneja, the director of Tarrant County Public Health. “City of Fort Worth got it. Cook Children’s got it. JPS got it. So you name it – there’s a lot of providers.”

All of those providers do have different systems, so it’s important to contact them directly or look up their process for making an appointment online.

“Make a phone call, make sure they got their vaccine, and go get it,” Taneja said.

Pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have already begun accepting appointments for kids as early as this weekend, and the spots are quickly filling up.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, more than 400,000 doses of vaccine have already arrived with 162,000 expected to arrive Wednesday. Delivery of the full amount will continue through the next week. 

County breakdown of dose allocation:

READ MORE: In Shadow Of Texas Gas Drilling Sites, Health Fears Escalate

Providers in Dallas County will get 78,400 doses
Providers in Denton County will get 23,800 doses
Providers in Collin County will get 18,900 doses
Providers in Tarrant County will get 27,700

“I think as soon as we receive them, we’ll be able to give them out,” said Dr. Erica Solis with MD Kids Pediatrics, which has 18 locations in North Texas.

The group is preparing to receive 13,000 doses for kids ages 5 to 11.

“I think it’s great timing for before the holidays, to be able to get the vaccine, have that protection,” Dr. Solis said. “So having that level of comfort being around family and friends over the holidays.”

Pediatricians and health officials urge parents to talk to their doctors and consider getting their child vaccinated as soon as possible.

They say it will help reduce the overall spread of the virus in the community and prevent the rare, but serious, complications that can occur in this age group.  22 Texas children between the ages of 5 and 11 have died from COVID-19.

“We know that the virus is out there,” Taneja said. “We know that the vaccine works. It’s highly effective. And this one’s low dose, so the risk of side effects is very low.”

The Pfizer pediatric vaccine does require a second shot at least three weeks after the first for full protection, and some providers will make you schedule that second appointment at the same time as the first.

 

MORE NEWS: Public Health Experts Say Dallas Cowboys COVID Outbreak Shows Pandemic Far From Over

 

Caroline Vandergriff