How to find the COVID-19 vaccine for young kids
Local parents struggle to find COVID vaccine for kids
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some parents say they’re having trouble finding the COVID-19 vaccine for young children.
The updated COVID-19 vaccine has been recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children 6 months and older since September. The CDC says current vaccination locations can be found at Vaccines.gov.
Local health officials say there is no shortage of the vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is available for young kids, but it is not available everywhere. According to the Indiana Department of Health, the distribution process has changed this year.
Providers offering the vaccine order it directly, the same as they do for the flu vaccine, and it is up to the providers to order it.
Most pharmacies in central Indiana do not offer the COVID-19 vaccine for kids younger than three years old. Health departments are still getting their shipments of the vaccine for young kids. When it comes to pediatricians, some offer the shot, some do not.
News 8 checked the CDC’s vaccine website on Wednesday morning, and there were no available locations within 100 miles of the Hamilton County zip code for children under the age of 3 years old.
The state health department is urging parents to reach out to their child’s pediatrician or local health departments regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Fishers Health Department said it just received its stock of vaccines for insured patients this week and plans to start offering shots to kids on Oct. 23.
In the meantime, the Assistant Director of the Fishers Health Department, Josh Robinson, has been fielding questions from the public and directing people where to get the vaccine.
“We obviously get a lot of phone calls – from residents and people around the Fishers community – because we have had a lot of success with the vaccines in the past. And we always direct them to area providers we know have it in stock. And also say to go to Vaccines.gov to help them get it. But we do get calls from individuals asking do ‘you have it yet?’ Or ‘where can I get it?’ So we just answer those as we can,” Robinson said.
There are places in central Indiana with the shot in stock for young kids. Ascension St. Vincent says its pediatrician offices in Fishers are offering the COVID-19 shot to children 6 months and up. They have plenty in stock and are seeing a lot of parents bring in their kids.
“Every day, I have families that are asking for and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. I have been very pleased with the uptick in our clinic, said Dr. Evan Kreutzer, a pediatrician at Ascension St. Vincent. “I treat the new COVID booster like the flu vaccine. I think it is an important vaccine and we want everyone to get it, 6 months and older. It is new this fall, slightly changed from last year so it should be more effective against the current circulating strain.”
The Association of Immunization Managers tells CNN that around 10,000 babies a day become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but only around 7,000 kids under the age of 4 are getting the shot a week.
According to the Indiana COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard, less than .6% of kids under 5 years old in the state, are up to date with the latest COVID-19 shot.
The Fishers Health Department says young kids can start getting the COVID-19 vaccine at their facility next week. They also said the health department has flu shots available and will have the new RSV vaccine soon.