DALLAS – Dr. Angela Moemeka receives the same questions during her son’s ball games, at the supermarket, from friends, strangers and the patient’s parents.
“What’s next? When is this going to start? And do you want it in your office?”
She can’t provide concrete answers yet, but one question parents might ask themselves is, “How soon do I want my child to be vaccinated?”
Within hours of Wednesday’s decision by a CDC panel to recommend emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age, vaccine sites already distributing the Pfizer injection made plans to expand suitability.
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The Pfizer vaccine will be available Thursday and Friday to anyone 12 or older in Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties at various clinic locations.
So if you want to get an injection in your child’s arm as soon as possible, provincial clinics are probably the best option.
If you prefer a well-known physician in a familiar office environment, you should wait.
But pediatricians think it won’t be long before they give injections.
“We understand it should be in a week or two,” said Dr. Seth Kaplan, a pediatrician at Frisco’s TLC Pediatrics and president of the Texas Pediatric Society.
“We placed our first order in my office [Wednesday] and hope to have a vaccine next week or the week after, ”he said.
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In early May, the Texas Department of State Health Services sent letters to about 3,000 pediatricians across the state encouraging them to enroll as vaccine providers.
Kaplan said the state has since issued good guidance that has allayed concerns about receiving large amounts of doses that independent practices would be unable to administer on their own.
“We will really be able to look at our policies and procedures and think a lot about this as we have done flu clinics in the past,” Kaplan said.
He said if families are ready to get their children vaccinated, they should make any appointment they can get at a public clinic or pharmacy.
“Gunshots is what’s important right now,” he said.
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Just communicate that to your child’s doctor.
Moemeka suggests calling your pediatrician or primary care physician so they can look up a medical history to make sure there are no contraindications.
“Then get the vaccine wherever you can get it,” she said.
“I think most pediatricians are going to say if you can get it before I can get it, go ahead.”