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Hamilton County prepares to roll out vaccinations for kids ages 5-11

(WISH) — People in the United States ages 5 to 11 could soon be eligible to get COVID-19 shots.

The White House on Wednesday outlined its plans to vaccinate millions of children even before Pfizer receives full approval.

The Hamilton County Health Department says it’s already started preparations.

However, the Biden administration says, it’s awaiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to approve the shots before announcing a timeline to start rolling out the vaccines. The Biden administration says about 15 million doses will be shipped to providers across the country in the first week after approval.

“I need to put the priority of children’s health out there,” said Abby Rangel, a Carmel resident.

Rangel says she wants to get her 11-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son vaccinated. She says it can mean a matter of life and death. “Yes to vaccination, yes to my children’s health, yes to me being able to enjoy them for a much longer time,” Rangel said.

The Carmel resident says she’s reached out to her physician and a pharmacist to learn more about the vaccines.

“I really believe that until we can get this second part going there really isn’t going to be an advancement to be able to have the confidence to be able to continue to live life to our fullest capacity,” Rangel said.

Christian Walker, preparedness coordinator for the Noblesville-based Hamilton County Health Department, says he’s looking forward to getting his 5-year-old son and 7-year-old son their shots. He says the health department is also waiting for CDC guidance before rolling out a date to vaccinate children between 5 and 11. However, for now, they’re looking at using the county’s fairgrounds for the vaccinations. It’s already open for vaccinations and booster shots for people who qualify for them.

About his children getting vaccinated, Walker said, “It allows them the extra level of safety to go to school and have interactions with their friends, to be able to play indoor sports, and things like that.”

Fishers-based Hamilton Southeastern Schools says it’s encouraging anyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated, and that vaccination reduces the quarantine period for students.

Indianapolis Public Schools says it recognizes vaccinations as the best chance to move past the coronavirus pandemic, and encourages vaccination efforts.