Indiana expects 200,000 COVID vaccines for kids next week

 
 
Updated 10/27/2021 2:22 PM

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana officials said Wednesday that the state should be able to immediately inoculate a third of children ages 5 to 11 as preparations are made to expand Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for the age group if the federal government gives it approval.

Chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said the state expects to receive 200,000 additional COVID vaccines intended for the state's roughly 600,000 5- to 11-year-olds on Monday and Tuesday. Smaller shipments of the vaccine are expected in the following weeks, a process similar to earlier COVID vaccine rollouts, Weaver said.

 

The announcement came one day after an advisory committee with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration endorsed the kid-size doses. The FDA is expected to authorize the shots within days, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention next week.

'We will be prepped and ready to start giving it as soon as the CDC gives its approval,' Weaver said during a news conference. 'Personally, I believe this first round will definitely be enough for everybody who's been waiting and excited to go get vaccinated.'

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said that state health officials will have 'no problem' being able to quickly reorder more vaccines when needed.

The state has more than 1,300 vaccination sites - across Indiana's 92 counties - that are available for children ages 5 to 11, Weaver said. The Indiana Department of Health also announced Wednesday that it will extend the COVID-19 vaccination and testing clinic being held outside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway until Nov. 20 in anticipation of expanded vaccines for kids.

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Nearly 7 million vaccine doses have so far been administered in Indiana, and about 57% of those eligible in the state are fully vaccinated, according to state data.

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Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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