Midland and Odessa Hospitals are getting prepared for the FDA to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children.
The vaccine is currently authorized for emergency use in people ages 16 and older.
But Pfizer is asking the FDA to expand requirements and allow those ages 12-15 to get the vaccine.
The request comes a week after the company said phase 3 clinical trials showed the vaccine was 100% effective and safe in adolescents.
The FDA’s expected to make that approval in the next three weeks.
Meanwhile, hospitals here like Midland Memorial, Odessa Regional Medical Center and Medical Center already have a plan in place for when and if that approval happens.
Just like those 16 years old and 17 years old now, children 12 to 15 years old would have to get consent from their parents or guardians in order to get the Pfizer vaccine.
Hospital leaders here believe demand would be huge, as there is already a long list of children who want the vaccine before summer camps and travel.
“We have had lots of requests from parents, especially, those with asthmatic children, diabetic children in that age group," Val Sparks, infection preventionist at MMH, said. "Those wanting to go to camps, see grandparents, play sports, wanting to go to band camps, etcetera...they really want their kids vaccinated before going to those activities.”
As far as logistics, younger kids getting the vaccine will not change much for the hospitals.
“The only thing you do differently for kids than adults is the consent form is signed by the parents," Rohith Saravanan, Chief Medical Officer at ORMC, said.
But what will change?
The amount of data the FDA needs in order to approve emergency use.
“You want it to be a much more powerful study when it’s for younger kids," Saravanan said. "For lower age groups you need an even higher amount of data to prove safety so that’s why there’s a delay in the age groups being submitted."
The hospitals in Midland and Odessa are hoping the approval comes before schools out.
“We’re trying to do it before schools out because that way we can get them that second dose.," Sparks said. "So the earlier the better.”
While we wait for FDA approval, Midland Health is planning on bringing a pop-up vaccine clinic to Midland and Lee high school at the end of April to vaccinate those 16 and older.
On Tuesday, they will be at Midland College for a pop-up vaccine clinic.
Odessa’s vaccine sites are open until 9 p.m. so it makes it a bit easier for students to get vaccinated there.
But. Saravanan tells us once the FDA approves the vaccine, they will create similar pop-up clinics at schools and colleges.
As for where you can get the vaccine for free?
Here's where you can get it in Midland and Odessa:
Click here to pre-register for an appointment at the Horseshoe. They will reach out to you, via email (check your junk mail) or phone call to schedule an appointment.
The Horseshoe is open for walk-in vaccine appointments on April 14-16 from 2-4 p.m.
For the second dose, it will be three weeks after your first dose.
First doses are given at these two Urgent Care facilities:
3001 JBS Parkway, Odessa, TX 79762
6030 W. University Blvd., Odessa, TX 79764
Walk-in clinic times are 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Those due for their second dose should receive an email from “SVC COVID Tracker App” with an appointment time at the ORMC Community Health Center.
They are open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.