Killeen ISD is partnering with the Bell County Health District to offer a COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11 years of age.
The district was able to offer the Pfizer vaccine to the younger kids for the first time last week and hundreds showed up.
"For 5 to 11-year-olds, we’re excited to offer that opportunity to those families," said Taina Maya, KISD Chief Communications & Marketing Officer. "It really is their choice and we understand a ton of families have taken advantage of this opportunity thus far."
In just the first week, 399 children from that age group got their first dose of the vaccine at the former Nolan middle school campus on Jasper Road, according to KISD.
"We really had all of our things lined up behind the scenes, in a matter of days and we had our vaccines on order," said Maya. "So, the great teamwork and collaboration between all the different partners and entities, what people don’t see behind the scenes, is really quite impressive.”
The turnout is a trend that children's hospitals are seeing themselves.
"We’ve seen a very reasonable initial wave. We’ve vaccinated ourselves, over 400 kids in our community and we’re actually in the process of ordering more vaccines,” said Dr. Dominic Lucia M.D, Chief Medical Officer, McLane Children’s Hospital.
The wave of kids getting vaccinated has doctors hopeful even though, they still have to explain why kids should get it.
"Is any vaccine perfect? Absolutely not," said Dr. Lucia. "Could you still get COVID even though you are vaccinated? Absolutely. But these are gradations so if you get COVID, it’s much milder and it keeps you out of the hospital.”
The fact the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective is why even doctors are getting their kids vaccinated.
"They joined their older brother and sister that already had [been vaccianted] from the older age group and we are happy to report as a family we are on our way to being fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Lucia.
The plan for KISD is to make the vaccine available to all students including 5 to 11-year-olds at the former Nolan Middle School campus on Jasper Drive every Thursday and Friday; with the exception of Thanksgiving week, where it will be taking place on Monday and Tuesday.