First Lady Jill Biden visits Houston in push to get kids vaccine

dr. Biden visited Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston as part of a national campaign to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

HOUSTON—First Lady Dr. Jill Biden visited Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston on Sunday. The trip is part of a nationwide campaign to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against COVID-19.

It was Biden’s second stop on the national tour to get shots in the arms of children.

“Let’s give a round of applause to all the brave kids here,” Biden said at a pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinic at TCH.

Biden said children receiving the vaccine can give parents a sense of security.

“I can’t promise you that the dangers of the world will become any less terrifying. I mean, just wait until your kids start driving. But with this vaccine, at least we can address one of those major concerns,” she said.

Biden arrived along with the nation’s top physician, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.

“All parents know it is a sacred responsibility to care for the youngest among us,” Murthy said.

According to the FDA, the vaccine is more than 90% effective in children ages 5-11. According to Biden’s press secretary, TCH has vaccinated approximately 15,000 eligible children as of Nov. 3. They estimate that they administered about 240 vaccinations on Sunday.

Growing demand

Local health workers said the question is on their minds.

“Hospitals in the area have really struggled to get appointments for children,” Infectious Diseases specialist with Memorial Hermann Linda Yancey said.

Yancey said they’ve been working around the clock firing guns.

“The pediatrician practices work during the week. We are doing everything we can to meet this demand,” she says.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green light for children ages 5 to 11 to receive Pfizer’s low-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

The latest numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services reflect what health professionals are seeing. In Harris County, with children ages 5 and older, approximately 70% of the county’s total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. About 60% are fully vaccinated.

Yancey said the hope is the vaccine will reduce the alarming number of pediatric deaths.

“COVID is in the top 10 killers of children in 2021,” she said.

When asked what to expect in the coming months, Yancey said, “We’re still trying to figure out if kids need a booster. Probably, but we’re not sure yet.”

She said vaccine trials are currently underway to determine just that.

“There are so many questions now,” Yancey said.

Here’s a video of Biden’s arrival on Sunday afternoon:

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