IN Focus: Rep. Bucshon discusses child vaccines, infrastructure talks


INDIANPOLIS – On this week’s edition of IN Focus, we’re taking a closer look at the efforts to move Indiana into the next phase toward the end of the pandemic.

The FDA recently cleared the lower doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for kids between 5 and 11 years old, paving the way for a full approval that could come as early as this week.

The first shipments of Pfizer doses for kids ages 5 to 11 could arrive early next week, according to local health officials.

“As far as I’ve been told, there is plenty of vaccine to go around,” said Elizabeth Swearingen, director of the Johnson County Health Department.

Pfizer has already begun to ship millions of vials of the pediatric vaccine — in orange caps to separate them from the purple-capped adult vaccine — to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and other vaccination sites. Their plan will have young children get two shots, three weeks apart.

Rep. Larry Bucshon spoke one-on-one with IN Focus to give his views on the new eligibility and vaccine mandates coming into affect across the nation. While he’s encouraging his constituents to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the congressman for Evansville and Terre Haute is against any government mandate forcing individuals to get the shot.

“I think it should be an individual decision based on the advice of your physician, your pediatrician, and not a federal mandate,” explained Rep. Bucshon, who’s also a physician himself.

Rep. Bucshon expects vaccine hesitancy from parents, similar to the debate surrounding the full-dose version for adults. However, he believes the Biden administration’s plan to mandate vaccinations will only drive up resistance to get the shot.

“If the government mandates things, I think that worsens – not improves – hesitancy,” Rep. Bucshon said.

Bucshon says people should get vaccinated as a result of their own research and recommendations, not by a government mandate.

Speaking on the ongoing negotiations on government spending, Rep. Bucshon hopes both sides can eventually come together to pass bipartisan legislation on Capitol Hill. He feels that the “Build Back Better” plan touted by Democrats will only bring more confusion government-funded free community college and their plan for universal paid family leave. Both of those provisions have reportedly been removed from the final bill.

“I think the Progressive and Democrat Caucus are demanding this larger package be attached to the infrastructure bill, and that’s why we can’t get infrastructure done in a bipartisan way.” Rep. Bucshon said.

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