(INDIANAPOLIS) – It may take until next week to get your baby or toddler vaccinated in Indiana.
Before long, you should be able to get your toddler vaccinated without an appointment. But the Indiana Department of Health says vaccine supplies are limited at some locations — some hospitals and pharmacies are requiring appointments until more vaccine is available. The health department recommends calling ahead to see if you need an appointment. The department expects it’ll get simpler over the next several days as more doses arrive.
The Centers for Disease Control gave final approval on Saturday to vaccinate children as young as six months. The vaccine had previously been available only for kids age five and up.
Just one in five Hoosiers age five to 12 has gotten the vaccine, and Community Health Network chief medical officer Ram Yeleti says while some parents have already called to ask when they can bring in their kids, the rate among younger kids will probably be lower.
Yeleti recommends parents get their kids vaccinated. While the youngest Hoosiers have been less vulnerable to the virus, there have been nearly 48-thousand cases in Indiana in kids under five, with more than 700 hospitalizations and 17 deaths. Yeleti says there are no safety risks from the vaccine, so even with cases being rare, the benefit far outweighs the risk. As with adults, he says the vaccine won’t necessarily keep kids from getting the virus, but it will protect them against serious illness.
The CDC has approved both Pfizer and Moderna’s pediatric version of the vaccine. While the Moderna vaccine uses the same two-shot schedule as the adult version, the Pfizer vaccine requires three shots, with the second after three weeks and the third shot two months after that. Yeleti says the two vaccines are equally effective — choosing between them is just a question of where they’re in stock and whether you want to get done faster.