Texas Children's Hospital works to vaccinate young, at-risk patients

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As vaccine rollout continues across the state, there has been questions about who is eligible and when children and young adults will receive doses.

Currently, Texas is in Phase 1B, which includes people over the age of 65 or 16 with a health condition that increases their risk of getting COVID-19.

Texas Children's Hospital has seen more patients with COVID-19 than any other healthcare system for children in the country.

"We have cared for many of these patients in the hospital during the entire pandemic," says chief pediatrician at Texas Children's, Dr. James Versalovic.

Doctors at Texas Children's have diagnosed more than 10,000 patients with the virus.

Versalovic says, "Many of these children have underlying medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease, heart disease, cancer, and obesity."

The hospital started vaccinating its staff in December and began administering doses to their patients last month.

So far, they've administered the vaccine to more than 5,500 patients, and the number is growing every day.

"We know there's been plenty of attention on older adults and the elderly, and other healthcare systems are well positioned for that. At Texas Children's, we service the voice of adolescence and younger adults who desperately need the vaccine," says Versalovic.

Texas Children's says they currently have more than 85,000 patients in their system eligible to get the vaccine.

They say they're also watching vaccine trials for patients between 12 and 15 years old, which they say is currently in Phase 1.

"We want to offer a message of hope, to parents, families and children that we are here, at Texas Children's, and with our colleagues at the Texas Medical Center, ready to serve, and ready to inform our communities," says Versalovic.

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