Strong child vaccination turnout across the RGV, even with parent hesitancy

Local News

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO)- Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 12 to 15, health experts in the valley said the turnout has been positive.

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“We put out notice that we would take registrations and over the next several days we got around 5,000 people registered,” said Dr. Michael Dobbs, Chief Medical Officer for UT Health RGV.  

According to Dr. Dobbs there still isn’t an exact number of how many children have received the vaccine, but he said the number is growing.

“I can tell you that an awful lot of them have shown up and they are enthusiastic about getting the vaccine,” said Dr. Dobbs.  

Even with good vaccine turnouts, Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority said they are still seeing some parents who are hesitant about getting their children vaccinated. 

“We’ve seen very good outcome we have seen some people who have been resistant the parents have said yes for us but not sure for our children yet, I would remind people of how our numbers have improved around the world,” said Dr. Melendez.

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According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, during the time of this report, Cameron County has almost 69% of individuals 12 and older with at least one dose of the vaccine.

Hidalgo County has a little over 66%, Starr County has almost 76%, and Willacy County with 54% in those 12 years and older.

Dr. Dobbs said children are key to reach herd immunity not only here in the Rio Grande Valley, but around the U.S.

“Almost everyone says that herd immunity happens somewhere between 70% and 90% so in order to reach herd immunity I mean children are part of the herd,” said Dr. Dobbs.

Dr. Melendez is urging parents to get their children vaccinated, but is also reminding young adults about the dangers this virus could have on them.

“Just because you’re young and ‘oh I don’t need it, I don’t need the vaccine’ doesn’t mean you’re not going to get it and that you’re not going to die,” said Dr. Melendez.

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Both Dr. Melendez and Dr. Dobbs are hopeful for the approval of the vaccine for children 12 and under, in an effort to help put an end to this pandemic.

To find where you and your child can get vaccinated click here for more information.

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