Parents in the Fort Worth area wanting to immunize children ages 5-11

Family nurse practitioner Mary Ranck prepares doses of Pfizer vaccine at a Texas Health Resources mobile clinic in early October in the Diamond Hill neighborhood of Fort Worth.

Family nurse practitioner Mary Ranck prepares doses of Pfizer vaccine at a Texas Health Resources mobile clinic in early October in the Diamond Hill neighborhood of Fort Worth.

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Christina Robinson said she and her team are preparing for the day vaccines are cleared for children aged 5 to 11.

As the medical director of the Pediatric Mobile Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center, Robinson said the appointments became “science lessons” as she answered questions about viruses and their spread. Not only is she now answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines, but all vaccines.

An FDA advisory committee plans to discuss Pfizer’s application for the authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 on October 26.

Robinson said if parents avoid the vaccine, they won’t necessarily avoid the damage: long-term COVID symptoms could be worse than any potential side effects associated with a vaccine.

A national survey of 1,745 parents found that a third were “Very unlikely” to have their children vaccinated against the virus, according to Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Although cases are on the decline, Tarrant County under 15s represent a larger proportion of cases, accounting for 26% of the county’s new cases, according to Tarrant County.

Robinson and her team saw little illness in children at the start of the pandemic, due to stay-at-home orders and mask warrants, she said. Mental health issues first increased and then stabilized as the world began to open up, she said, but now that schools have reopened, children are falling ill again.

“So the saddest thing, I think, is that we knew that those … who weren’t vaccinated would be the ones who would be the target, especially with the Delta variant, and unfortunately all of our kids who were in school.” primary were not. eligible to be vaccinated, ”said Robin

More than 12,000 students in The Fort Worth School District had to go into quarantine after being in close contract with someone who had it.

Although her team has organized clinics for children 12 and older, Robinson said she has already started talking with families she sees about vaccinating their children and how to do it. Most of the concerns she heard were about security. She and her team are already getting ready for Younger Approval Day.

“We really want the day they say they leave, that we can then start administering the vaccine,” she said.

As fall and winter approached, Robinson said she and her team were concerned about the flu cases on top of COVID.

“We need to try to get as many children as possible vaccinated with COVID and as many children as possible against the flu as quickly as possible so that as we move into November and December we generally see these huge increases and surges. flu, and quite possibly still COVID, you won’t have to ask yourself, ‘Oh okay, do you have the flu or do you have COVID?’ She said.

A spokesperson for the Tarrant County Department of Health said officials would not comment on the challenges and concerns about the vaccine rollout for 5 to 11 year olds until approved for use of. emergency be approved.

Parents speak out

Parents of children under 12 have had to resort to masking, even though Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order bans warrants statewide and in schools.

There is a certain sense of anxiety that accompanies sending children to school, said Russ Boyd of southwest Fort Worth.

As the school year approached, he knew there was little he could do to protect his four children – all aged 5 to 11 – and said the best he and his wife could do was to send children to school with a mask. But when their preschool child loses or forgets a mask, no one has to tell them to put it back on. So far, one of Boyd’s daughters has had to self-quarantine after being exposed to the virus at school. She ultimately did not test positive.

Dedrick Davison, who lives in Mansfield and whose wife works as a teacher, said he would get his 9-year-old vaccinated as soon as possible. Throughout the pandemic, their son has been on a vitamin diet.

When Burleson’s Brandy Austin Hearing the news of Pfizer’s request, she wanted to know how soon she could get her 5-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter vaccinated. Austin said her family are frequent travelers, but during the pandemic they chose to take their children to safer places, although she admits it has been a challenge to find places.

The family just returned from a trip to California where they said people were good at masking themselves, even though they had to eat out at most restaurants as vaccination cards were required. After the children were vaccinated, Austin said she wanted to take the children to Europe.

For Laney Hawes, in north Fort Worth, the decision has caused some concern. She said her 11-year-old daughter had the virus about a month ago with mild symptoms – a runny nose and sore throat for two days. Hawes said she wondered if the vaccine would be worth it given the potential side effects.

In the end, she decided the benefits outweighed the risks. Hawes said the community is in the same boat.

“I just saw so much heartache and so many loved ones lost and it’s devastating,” she said. “I’m just a staunch supporter of the common good… Since Texans aren’t who we are, are we looking out for each other?” Law? We are not alone in this matter.

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