DALLAS — This week, the Food and Drug Administration signed off on the latest COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech shots are approved for people who are 12 and older. There is an emergency use authorization for children who are 6 months to 11 years old.
The bottom line: Everyone six months and up can get the new COVID-19 vaccine.
"[The EUA] is more of a technicality than anything else," said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children's Health and Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern.
"My recommendation would be that all children of six months of age and older should get the vaccine," said Dr. Kahn.
Dr. Kahn's opinion falls in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Now we have a tool, a very effective too," he said in reference to the vaccine.
At Children's Health, there have been 90 positive cases in the past seven days.
In Dallas County, the daily average as of Sept. 13, is 232 cases with no deaths.
At Parkland Health, the Dallas County hospital, there are currently 30 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
"So even though 30 is now higher than it has been in the last six months, it's a far cry from 400 or 450," said Dr. Joseph Chang, Chief Medical Officer at Parkland Health.
He remembers the worst of the pandemic when hospital beds were full.
"It's been quite the journey," he said.
Dr. Chang said in the next few weeks, his hospital will get shipments and start doing vaccine drives to administer the new COVID shot to those who want it.
He believes, "It'll be easy for folks who want to get it."
Pharmacies will soon have the latest vaccines.
CVS Health announced on Wednesday that their pharmacies and clinics will begin receiving them on a rolling basis throughout the week.
In addition, the CDC's Bridge Access program will provide no-cost vaccines to adults without health insurance or whose health insurance does not cover the COVID-19 vaccine. The program is available until Dec. 31, 2024.
When asking Dr. Kahn if he'd consider the pandemic as over, he said, "We're in a much, much better place right now. And I think the likelihood that we're going to go back to where we were is very, very low."
Dr. Chang, when asked the same question, said, "I consider that at least here at Parkland Hospital, that the pandemic, as it was, is gone. Thank goodness."