Indianapolis day care centers welcome COVID vaccine for children under 5

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Many Indianapolis child care and day care providers are eager to spend a little less time worrying about COVID-19 and more time helping children grow and develop, following federal approval last week of COVID vaccines for children between 6 months and 5 years old.

After more than two years of navigating the pandemic much like their K-12 counterparts, directors of these facilities are hoping parents will take advantage of the new vaccines to protect their children and those around them.

Those who run these facilities could still face tricky decisions about whether they should encourage or request that those who attend be vaccinated.

The Indiana Department of Health said the new vaccines are now available in the state. Young children previously eligible for the vaccine have proven much less likely to be vaccinated than any other age group. In Indiana, only 21% of children ages 5 to 11 are fully vaccinated, roughly half the percentage of children ages 12 to 17 in the state who are fully vaccinated.

Lisa Bowling, the co-director of Daystar Daycare in Indianapolis, said her center has experienced multiple COVID outbreaks this year. The center serves multiple classrooms of children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 12 years. While no children became seriously ill, many classrooms had children test positive in January and May.

“Some of our staff have gotten pretty sick,” Bowling said. “It really makes a difference now that we have the vaccine.”

Bowling said parents and staff have been diligent in maintaining COVID protocols when possible, but containing the spread of the virus can be difficult when many children cannot wear masks properly at a young age.

Bowling expects many of the children at her day care to be vaccinated shortly, as parents have been eager in the past—as is typical each time a new age group is eligible for vaccination. She said some children have even been vaccinated on their fifth birthday, as soon as they were eligible. Now, she said, she’s relieved they won’t have to wait as long.

“We were hoping that it would have been done sooner,” Bowling said about the new vaccines. “We’re very thankful that it’s now been approved.”

The state health department said parents should contact their health care provider or seek more information online, or by calling 211 for more information before going to a health care provider for a vaccine.

“As with every stage of vaccine rollout, we will see increased availability in the coming days as more doses arrive in the state,” said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the department’s chief medical officer, in a Tuesday press release.

The excitement among those who oversee day care and child care centers extends to their own families. Rosie’s Tiny Tots Daycare Ministry Director Alicia Grant said she is excited to have her 3-year-old daughter vaccinated. While she will not require any parents to vaccinate their children who go to Rosie’s Tiny Tots, she hopes to see other parents follow her example.

“My daughter is three and she still doesn’t know how to blow her nose,” Grant said. “So being vaccinated would help her fight off whatever the virus may be at the time.”

Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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2 thoughts on “Indianapolis day care centers welcome COVID vaccine for children under 5

  1. It’ll be interesting to see if some of these “relieved” daycare providers remain “excited” when, as we all know will be the case, relatively few people decide to get their 3-year-olds jabbed. The Branch Covidians were probably already there the morning that their overlords announced approval. The rest of them–those with some discernment regarding the infinitesimal risk of a serious outcome for children who catch COVID (” no children became seriously ill”)–will probably opt out for what remains an experimental drug. By the end of June, virtually no new kids will be getting the vax. Let’s hope these child care providers continue to allow parents the right to exercise choice. Odds are, the market will prevent more than a few daycare centers from taking a draconian approach–the rest won’t be able to do anything for fear of losing too much of their clientele.

    Which means this gets to play out with no necessary state intervention: the woke daycare centers can market themselves for “vaccine passports for kids” and attract similarly minded parents; and the rest will do their own thing. Everybody wins. See how simple this can be?

  2. Why? They don’t work. People still get Covid. With all the heat on Fucci, it’s proven it was political. Do we really want to risk our children any more? Haven’t they been through enough nonsense and pain as it is? This is ridiculous they even considering it. When will this madness end? Covid has already ruined our economy, caused inflation, reason why most business don’t have enough workers and warehouses cant get enough products.