May 12, 2021

Indiana Distributing More Pfizer Doses To Counties To Prep For 12+ Vaccine Eligibility

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only vaccine available to people under age 18.  - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is currently the only vaccine available to people under age 18.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Indiana is sending doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to counties without it, in preparation for federal approval of that vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds.

The state vaccination website will begin scheduling appointments for that age group at 8 a.m. Thursday, following federal approval made Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana Department of Health chief medical officer, said 30 counties don’t have a site with Pfizer doses, which is the only vaccine anyone under age 18 can receive. Those local health departments will get doses Thursday.

All other health departments will get more Pfizer vaccine Monday. And every state mobile vaccination clinic will be equipped with Pfizer doses.

“Having this vaccine available will ensure that counties and local health departments can administer vaccine to all ages, so that no vaccination opportunity is missed,” Weaver said.

READ MORE: How Will Indiana Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

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State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said in addition to protection from the virus, getting your child vaccinated can make life easier.

“If they do get exposed to COVID-19, they’re not going to have to be quarantined," Box said. "They don’t have to miss school. They don’t have to worry about not getting to do their athletic events.”

Box said the state has no plans to mandate the vaccine for anyone, including schoolchildren.

This story has been updated.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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