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'It's safe. It's effective': Local pediatricians on COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 18:38:18-04

INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 vaccines for kids under five began arriving in Indiana on Monday, according to a spokesperson with the Indiana Department of Health. This comes as federal health officials signed off on both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine series for the age group over the weekend.

Indianapolis pediatrician Dr. Eric Yancy recommends the vaccine for kids under the age of five — even if a child has had the virus before.

“If you’ve had it and you had the vaccine, why not go with double protection? We have seatbelts in a car, but we also have airbags,” Dr. Yancy said.

When it comes to the question of why should kids get the vaccine, the answer, Dr. Yancy said, is simple.

“You never want to take a chance with a wild virus," Yancy said. "We don’t know what it will do, we can’t predict what it will do. Most children will probably recover from it, but why take the chance if you safe and effective vaccine?”

Dr. Sarah Bosslet, the Director of Primary Care at Riley Children’s Health at IU Health, agrees.

“The best vaccine is the vaccine you have access to,” Dr. Bosslet said.

The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose series and is authorized for children six months old to five years old. Pfizer is a three-dose series for kids ages 6 months to four years old.

“It’s very important, though, for both of them that you complete this series because just one shot is not going to be enough,” Dr. Bosslet said.

This week, shots for Hoosier kids under five will begin. An IDOH spokesperson did not give an exact date but said deliveries of pre-orders from earlier this month started arriving Monday and will continue throughout the week.

The map on will be updated, the spokesperson said, as pediatric sites begin to offer the vaccine for those under five.

In an email, an IDOH spokesperson wrote in part:

“However, due to the staggered delivery schedule, parents are encouraged to call ahead to ensure the site has the appropriate dosage available. Vaccines can be obtained on a walk-in basis while we work to update our online registration system to allow for online appointment scheduling. Parents also can contact their child’s healthcare provider to schedule an appointment if the provider is offering the vaccine.”

Pfizer vaccines for kids ages 18 months old to four years old will be offered at more than a thousand nationwide CVS minute clinic locations starting Tuesday. Walgreens is offering Moderna and Pfizer appointments for kids ages three and older starting on Saturday.