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WVPE News

Some parents prepare to get young kids vaccinated for COVID as eligibility expands

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News

Hoosier children as young as six months old are now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and some parents are preparing to vaccinate the youngest members of their families.

When the Indiana Department of Health expanded eligibility to children five and older last fall, local ER doctor Erin Clark pulled her 5-year-old son out of school early and took him to get his COVID-19 vaccine.

Now, she said she’s looking forward to doing the same with her 4-year-old.

“All my kids are in summer camps, they’re doing sports, we want to go visit family,” Clark said. “We, like everyone else, want to live our normal lives.”

Clark said the vaccines are safe and will add an extra layer of protection as her family travels this summer. She encouraged parents who are hesitant about the vaccine to reach out to their pediatrician or family doctor for their recommendation.

Though most children who come down with COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms, Clark said some children do develop more severe illness.

“I’ve personally seen some young kids under 5 get in the emergency department being very sick and have to be hospitalized. And being hospitalized is no small thing for a kid,” she said. “It can be very traumatic, and in my mind, whatever I can do to spare a child the potential of severe illness is a good idea.”

Despite all that, Clark said getting her son on board with the shot might take a little finagling.

“Thankfully, my child is very easily bribed with ice cream,” she said with a laugh. “We do a lot of preparation — role playing, you know, ‘This is gonna happen.’ But ultimately, bribery with ice cream is usually what works for us.”

You can find a pediatric vaccine provider by visiting OurShot.IN.gov or by calling 211.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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