Riley Children’s Health Ramps Up COVID-19 Vaccine Access for Children in Indiana

Rile Children's Director of Primary Care Dr. Sarah Bosslet

With the start of a new school year, it’s more important than ever for children to get a COVID-19 vaccine and “get protected,” says Sarah S. Bosslet, M.D., a mother of four and pediatrician at Riley Children’s Health, based in Indianapolis and part of Indiana University Health.

In a recent blog on the IU Health website, Bosslet described the many reasons for kids to get vaccinated, including:

  • Keeping children and adults out of the hospital.
  • Preventing long-term complications and death.
  • Helping prevent daycare closures and school and work absences.
  • Reducing the anxiety and stress that COVID-19 has caused many families, including worries about kids being in childcare settings and out in public.

In urging vaccination for young children, Bosslet explained: “The perception early on was that this was a disease of adults, and then the omicron wave happened. … It is still really important to get the COVID vaccine for these babies.”

The blog also shares stories from mothers who made it a priority that their children under age 5 get a COVID-19 vaccine. One mom said she is most concerned “with the long-term effects of COVID, including long COVID in kids and other chronic conditions.”

Riley operates vaccine clinics during evenings and Saturday mornings across Indianapolis. In addition, the children’s hospital has increased access to the vaccine in pediatrician offices, so parents can request that their children get a COVID-19 vaccine during a scheduled office visit.

The hospital has found creative ways to make it easy — and even fun — for parents and caregivers to get children vaccinated. In winter 2022, Riley partnered with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and administered the COVID-19 vaccine to 300 children.

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