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As booster eligibility expands, Texas DSHS prepares for pediatric vaccines

COVID booster
Posted at 10:35 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-25 23:35:51-04

WACO, Texas — More people are now eligible to get their COVID-19 booster shots according to updated CDC guidance. In addition to the Pfizer-BioNTech booster, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters are also now available to select groups.

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna boosters are available six months after the second dose to those 65 and older or those 18 and older with underlying health conditions or those that work or live in high-risk settings.

The Johnson & Johnson booster, however, is available to anyone 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two or more months ago.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said the day after the new set of boosters were authorized by the CDC, they saw immediate demand for them.

"By 8:38 in the morning, we had over a dozen people show up for their boosters," said the health district's nurse manager, Cindy Murphey. "I had fielded between six and eight phone calls regarding the boosters and our front office had over a dozen."

On top of the boosters, on Monday, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced that it is prepared for a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to make its way for Central Texas.

"Here in Texas, we have about 2.9 million children between the ages of five and eleven years old," said Imelda Garcia, the DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. "We expect these children to be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine very soon."

Per DSHS data, nearly 7,000 extra doses have been given in McLennan County and over 12,000 have been given in Bell County.

For help finding a COVID-19 vaccine or booster, visit the DSHS website.