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Monroe Co. expects to begin vaccinating younger population by week's end

Local health officials like Caudill are managing expectations as vaccine hesitancy persists. Four in ten eligible Hoosiers remain unvaccinated. (Alex Paul, WTIU/WFIU News)

State officials are moving to make COVID-19 shots available to children on the heels of the country’s first approved vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds.

While scattered sites across Indiana--incuding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway clinic and one in Brown County--began offering the child-sized shots today, more will follow. 

According to the FDA, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is more than 90 percent effective preventing COVID-19 in children. 

 Monroe County Health Department administrator, Penny Caudill, says she expects sites in Monroe County to begin offering shots by week’s end. 

"Getting COVID infection is much riskier than the vaccine, so I would say get your child vaccinated," Caudill said.

She insists these shots offer a path back to normalcy for students who’ve endured nearly two years of pandemic-infected instruction. 

"I think the spring term for students in school could look very, very different," Caudill said.

While the announcement brings hope, much of the state’s vaccine hesitancy remains as four in ten Hoosiers eligible remain unvaccinated.  

Caudill estimates fewer than half of the eligible population will be registered for shots in the coming weeks but reiterated the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.   

Read: As Indiana prepares to vaccinate Hoosiers 5 and older, pediatricians dispel COVID-19 myths

She encourages parents to reach out to their children’s pediatricians to discuss specific concerns. 

According to Caudill, the county’s health department will be working with local schools to administer shots. 

The department is planning clinics on Nov. 18 at Edgewood Primary School and Nov. 20 at Bloomington High School South. 

 

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