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Indiana unlikely to add COVID-19 to list of required children’s vaccines

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Family Issues, Government, Health
COVID-19 vaccines for kids 12 and older were approved in May 2021. Pfizer's emergency use authorization was expanded to 5- to 11-years-olds in November 2021. And the Food and Drug Administration authorized pediatric vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer for children as young as 6 months in June 2022. (Alan Mbathi/IPB News)

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel recently recommended that state officials add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of routine immunizations for children.

But it’s unlikely Indiana will do so.

Indiana law mandates a list of required immunizations for children in elementary and high school. That includes polio, measles, mumps, pertussis, hepatitis and meningitis.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said, with the COVID-19 vaccine, he’s avoided mandates.

“I’ve always sought to offer, not order, when it comes to that,” Holcomb said.

READ MORE: Kids as young as 6 months could get COVID-19 vaccines soon in Indiana

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Holcomb acknowledged that the General Assembly will consider any public health recommendations when it meets in January.

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) declined to comment. But House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said he doesn’t plan to add COVID-19 to the list of required immunizations.

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