FORT WORTH, Texas — At Splash Dayz, a Tarrant County COVID-19 vaccine location in White Settlement, children as young as 12 could receive their shots as of Thursday. Samantha Garcia brought her 13-year-old daughter.
"Oh, I'm so relieved," Garcia said. "She's the last one in our family to get her vaccine, so it's our chance to get back to normal and stay safe at the same time."
Tarrant County estimated they have around 122,000 children between the ages of 12 and 15. Just 3,500 of them pre-registered for their COVID-19 vaccines, and those children started receiving the shots Thursday, said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley.
"Right now we have plenty of vaccines, so I would just really strongly encourage the parents to find a location," said Whitley.
In total, the county offers four locations for kids to receive the approved Pfizer vaccine, and there's no need for appointments.
(See bottom of article for location information)
Whitley said they'll likely start talking to school superintendents about possible partnerships, like they did to get teachers vaccinated.
"This is the first step toward really totally reopening our schools by the fall," said Whitley.
At Cook Children's, Tarrant County's largest juvenile health care provider, they are directing families to get their children's shots at Texas Health Resources. Click here to sign up.
Dr. Anu Partap, the hospital system's medical director of health equity, explained the vaccine's cold storage requirements have provided some limitations.
"So while we figure out safe and effective ways of bringing vaccine to all our clinics, we don't want to delay people accessing available clinics that provide vaccine today," said Dr. Partap.
She acknowledged some parents have hesitations, and urged those parents to talk to their pediatricians about any concerns.
She said her own 14-year-old will be vaccinated Friday.
"It's a hopeful day every time we have a new step to fight the pandemic," Dr. said Partap.
Tarrant County's COVID-19 vaccination locations for children:
Hurst Conference Center
1601 Campus Drive, Hurst
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
2300 Circle Drive, Fort Worth
Thursday: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
405 N. Las Vegas Trail, White Settlement
Thursday & Friday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center
401 W. Belknap Street, Fort Worth
Thursday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.