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Due to high demand, local health departments are out of pediatric COVID-19 vaccines

Posted at 11:54 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 00:15:31-05

INDIANAPOLIS — It's been one week since children ages five to 11 have been able to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Since then, multiple counties across central Indiana say the supply of Pfizer's pediatric vaccine has not met the demand from families.

"We are out of the vaccine and unsure of when we will get our next shipment," said Stephanie Mellinger, an administrator for the Madison County Health Department.

Mellinger says the 300 doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine it received are long gone.

"We saw it go a little more quickly than what we anticipated. We knew there would be demand, but not that fast," she said.

The demand was so high, the department adjusted its hours to make sure children ages five through 11 were able to get their first dose.

Mellinger says they've made multiple requests to the state for more doses.

"I am so grateful that there is a demand. Keep calling. Keep checking the website. We will put out a press release when we receive our next shipment. I know it's frustrating if you've been waiting on it but keep trying us," she said.

The Boone County Health Department says it's also out.

"I think most of us health departments are in a similar situation. I think most of us are close to being out if not already. However, the website, [our] pins sites offering the vaccine," Mellinger said. "Just because county health departments don't have supply doesn't mean pediatric offices don't."

The Indiana State Health Department sent a statement saying the last shipment of pediatric vaccine doses arrived Tuesday, November 9. They say they're providing extra doses when possible to sites that are out. Going forward, providers will order their vaccines directly from the federal government.

In the meantime, we asked if parents should look elsewhere to get their children a second dose if they live in a county where their local health department is out of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

"That is a good question," Mellinger said. "We aren't quite sure just yet so probably just wherever that mom got that shot she should call and ask that question in a couple of days when we have that information or get more vaccines. We haven't been given clear direction on that just yet so we didn't schedule second doses for the kids who were here."

The Marion County Public Health Department is recommending second dose appointments, and due to the high demand, the department announced it's opening a mass pediatric vaccination clinic near Lafayette Square Mall on Thursday, November 11.

The mass vaccination clinic for children ages five to 11 only will be located at 3685 Commercial Drive, Indianapolis, 46222. The clinic will be open on the following dates from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.:

  • Thursday, November 11
  • Monday, November 15
  • Wednesday, November 17
  • Thursday, November 18
  • Monday, November 22
  • Monday, November 29
  • Wednesday, December 1
  • Thursday, December 2