CARMEL, Ind. — Shots are going into little arms and thighs around Indiana this week, after the COVID vaccine received the greenlight for our youngest population.
Supply and distribution plans are still rolling out across the state, but the shots are already in high demand for parents with kids under five.
Chris and Megan Phillips searched around to find where their two boys could get the COVID vaccine as soon as possible. Their four-year-old, Parker, suffers from asthma.
"Knowing that we have a higher-risk child and we did spend quite a bit of time in emergency rooms and then PICUs (pediatric intensive care units) with asthma, we wanted to get it as soon as we could so we didn't have to worry if he did get COVID on top of his underlying asthma,” said Megan.
Parker and his six-month-old brother, Peyton, both got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday afternoon at Little Village Pediatrics in Carmel, which is offering the two-dose Moderna and three-dose Pfizer vaccine for children under five.
"I think this is great,” said Dr. Risa Davidson. “I'm so happy that the opportunity is out there for everybody. Now it's up to parents, whether or not they choose to do this or not, but at least now you have that option."
Davidson runs Little Village Pediatrics by herself. She was so overwhelmed with vaccine requests that she had to remove her practice from the Indiana State Department of Health vaccine website.
The website provides locations by county that are giving the vaccine to children under five. But you can't make an online appointment yet. Call 211 or the specific location to schedule a shot for your child under five.
Three-year-old Sydney Hewitt took the shot with little protest Thursday afternoon. Her mother, Brittney, said the vaccine has become a political issue, but shouldn’t be.
"This vaccine has gone through all the safety checks,” said Brittney. “The FDA, the CDC have both approved it. Every board-certified doctor I know has encouraged me, my family, my children to also receive the vaccine. So why not give my children, you know, more protection if I can?”
IU Health's Riley Children’s Health is only offering the Moderna vaccine for now for those children under five years of age. They are offering appointments on evenings and weekends to help out working families.
The vaccine arrived Monday. Dr. Sarah Bosslet, Riley Children’s Health Director of Primary Care, started giving shots Tuesday.
"We had parents in tears,” said Bosslet. “They had been at home for so long, trying to keep their children safe or trying to keep their elderly parents safe from their small children. And so, parents with huge relief. It was really incredible. We even had one family that drove three hours to come and get the vaccine for their child."
Pediatricians stress that children must complete the two or three shot series for the vaccine to be fully effective.
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