One hundred thousand children are on the Dallas County waiting list to receive the coronavirus vaccine, even though it has not been approved for them.
Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang revealed the figure Tuesday in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.
Local authorities, led by County Judge Clay Jenkins, have been urging everyone, regardless of whether they meet the criteria, to register for the vaccine for months.
The waiting list has grown to more than 800,000 people, so that children represent 1 in 8 people registered.
Hours earlier, Huang gave a report to county commissioners on the steps his department is taking to prevent children from being vaccinated until federal authorities approve the vaccines for them.
Pfizer’s vaccine is approved for use starting at age 16, while Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s are approved for adults ages 18 and up.
Clinical trials are currently underway with children under 16 years of age.
At least 19 children under the approved age have been vaccinated at Dallas vaccination centers, according to NBC5, including an 8-year-old inoculated in Grand Prairie.
The Dallas city government reported that it has vaccinated 18 children at its vaccination center at Potter’s House, according to NBC5.
Both centers vaccinate people who have registered with Dallas County.
Huang told commissioners that his department removes the children from its waiting list, setting them aside for when the vaccine becomes available.
The few children who were invited to be vaccinated were part of some registries that were not properly reviewed.
“We work at various levels so that these invitations do not go out,” said Huang.
More training is also needed for volunteers and staff who receive people at vaccination centers, he added.
Last week the pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that its vaccine is safe and protects children from the age of 12.