First COVID-19 vaccinations administered to 12 to 15 year olds at Lubbock clinic
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Following approval by the FDA, the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Lubbock Health Department administered its first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 12 and older Thursday at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
“The ultimate goal is to reach that herd immunity through vaccine,” Director of Public Health Katherine Wells said. “The only way we’re going to get there is for people to get children vaccinated, our young people to get vaccinated in addition to the older adults. We have done great locally with getting those 65 and older vaccinated but our vaccine numbers are dropping significantly in these lower [age] groups. Our big cities have higher vaccination rates than us. We really need people to look at the vaccine, consider it and really make that choice to come and get vaccinated for the health of our entire community.”
Parental or guardian approval is needed for children younger than 18. Wells said the vaccine is safe and effective and encourages adults to see research-based sources of information like the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“It offers a lot of protection,” Wells said. “Millions of people have received this Pfizer vaccine and we have not seen complications.”
Thursday’s clinic was previously scheduled to administer second doses of the Moderna vaccine as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Pfizer was added for this purpose of vaccinating adolescents. Wells said the Health Department does not have any large Civic Center clinics scheduled but will continue to provide vaccines in various community locations and the Health Department.
“We’re actually going to be partnering with Lubbock ISD over the summer,” Wells said. “We have six back-to-school vaccine clinics planned at their high schools. They’re going to be all day on a Friday, six different Fridays. We’ll be offering the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 and up and then also working to catch up so many of our youngsters that have gone without getting those annual vaccines or those required vaccines.”
With the CDC Thursday easing mask restrictions for fully vaccinated Americans, Wells said it’s even more of an incentive to get vaccinated.
“Vaccines really let us get back to normal,” Wells said. “I’m just happy to see this guidance come out. It takes time to collect data. They can’t just make decisions right away. They have to look at the data. The science is showing that once you’re vaccinated, you can really drop the mask.”
For Health Department vaccine clinic information, click here.
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