Vaccine Central

Hoosiers ages 5-11 begin receiving Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Children ages 5-11 on Wednesday in Indiana began receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after U.S. health officials on Tuesday night cleared the way for its emergency authorization use.

Melissa McMasters, an administrator with the Marion County Public Health Department, said Wednesday, “It brings us hopefully closer to the end of this pandemic.”

“You still have COVID circulating, so it’s important that kiddos get the vaccine,” McMasters said.

The Indiana Department of Health said Wednesday the Pfizer vaccine — the only COVID-19 shot authorized for people 18 and younger in the United States — is available at a drive-thru clinic outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In Hamilton County, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, parents can make appointments for their children to get vaccinated. On Wednesday, the Hamilton County Health Department also began vaccinating children as walk-ins at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

Indianapolis resident Amy Best, who has a 6-year-old son, says she trusts the COVID vaccine. “I trust that there are people who have done the research and that when it’s approved it’s because it is found to be safe and effective and the right thing to do.”

“I realize this is a new illness, but at this point, we’re two years out. It has been well-studied,” Best said.

According to the Marion County Public Health Department, the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11 will be administered in a smaller dose, so fewer side effects are anticipated.

McMasters said, “The more you get children vaccinated, the less disease you see in adults and so I think this is why we are kind of hoping this may be close to the end of the pandemic because as more children get vaccinated, there’s just less circulating virus.”