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Texas families, local leaders prepare for vaccine rollout for kids 5-11

Officials will send 1.3 million of the doses, which are one-third of the dose given to people 12 and older, to Texas this weekend.

EULESS, Texas — Emily Ortega's three children could possibly be fully vaccinated in time for the holidays, and she couldn't be more excited about that. 

"It really gives me a sense of relief, cause my kids aren’t going to come home sick," Ortega said. "They’re not going to give it to my parents, their grandparents. We don’t have to worry about constantly having to test them every time there’s a cough or a sneeze or a cold.”

Her oldest is 15 and got the Pfizer vaccine shortly after it was authorized for kids her age. 

"She set up her own appointment and just had us drive her there," Ortega said. 

Her boys are 9 and 7. Getting them vaccinated would mean a normal Christmas this year. 

"We can go see my grandparents, their great-grandparents, who are in a nursing home and are more vulnerable," Ortega said. 

Ortega's 9-year-old son, Tycho Barnes, admitted he doesn't like shots. He is willing to look past that this time. 

"Everyone will kind of feel safer without being worried that everyone is sick," Barnes said. 

As much as he doesn't love shots, the fourth grader also said he did not like online learning, and he's ready to get back to normal recess. 

"We actually get to play normal tag instead of shadow tag," Barnes said.  

On Friday, the FDA issued emergency use authorization for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids 5-11. 

RELATED: FDA authorizes emergency use for Pfizer COVID vaccine in children 5-11

Officials will send 1.3 million of the doses, which are one-third of the dose given to people 12 and older, to Texas this weekend. The CDC is expected to give its approval early next week, which would allow for the vaccine to be administered. 

Tarrant County officials confirmed they are working with school districts to prepare a plan for rolling out the vaccine. 

RELATED: Tarrant County leaders, school superintendents discuss vaccine rollout plans for kids 5-11, pending final approval

Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed its also been in contact with local school district as well as pharmacies and medical offices to create a plan. 

Christian Grisales, the public information officer for DCHHS, said the county is waiting on specific guidance from the state about whether there will be an priority given to certain members of this younger age group. 

He said once the CDC grants final approval and the state gives guidance, the county's rollout will look very similar to how it's administered the vaccine for the older age groups. He said the county will work with community partners as well as host pop-up clinics, sites and a drive-thru site.

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