Advance Notice: Briefs

About 825K Michigan kids aged 5 to 11 can now get the COVID vaccine 

By: - November 3, 2021 4:14 pm

Pfizer vaccine for 5 to 11 year olds | Kent County Health Department

Updated, 6:43 a.m., 11/4/21

About 825,000 kids aged 5 to 11 in Michigan are now eligible to receive free Pfizer vaccine to help halt the spread of COVID-19 after emergency use was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

There have been over 201,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases for Michiganders ages 19 and younger as of Tuesday, as well as 20 deaths. A total of 1,147,512 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 22,384 have died.

Nationally, 5- to 11-year-old make up about 9% of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. and an estimated 40% of pediatric cases. That totals to about 1.9 million children in the age group having contracted the virus and about 8,300 have been hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 146 have died while 5,000 have since been diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder.

When can kids 5 to 11 get the vaccine?

  • Vaccines will be available immediately beginning Wednesday in Michigan.
  • DHHS has ordered 287,700 doses for the initial rollout, which is the full allocation provided by CDC for the launch of vaccination efforts. 
  • There are more than 4,000 vaccine providers across the state, including family physicians and pediatricians, urgent cares, local health departments, federally qualified health centers and pharmacies.  
  • Parents can find a vaccine by calling 211.

The Pfizer vaccine for kids 5 to 11 has been about 91% effective at warding off symptoms caused by COVID-19.

In a press release urging providers to commence vaccinating children aged 5 to 11, Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) chief medical executive, said the new ability to vaccinate the age group is a positive step toward fighting the virus. 

“Being able to vaccinate children ages 5 to 11 with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine brings us hope and also an additional opportunity to urge all eligible Michiganders to get vaccinated,” said Bagdasarian. “We know these vaccines work and protect our children and their families. Even healthy children can suffer serious [effects] from COVID-19.” 

Elizabeth Hertel, DHHS director, stressed in the same press release the need for children to get vaccinated in order “to save even more lives and reduce serious illness.”

In Michigan, 5.6 million people have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine or about 69.3% of the population 16 and up. Michigan’s goal is to fully vaccinate 70% of those 16 and up to achieve a base level of herd immunity.

For kids aged 12 to 15, more than 42% have received a first dose of the vaccine. 

Since January, unvaccinated Michigan residents have made up 93.1% of COVID-19 cases and 90.5% of all COVID-19-related deaths.

Correction: DHHS listed an online option to schedule vaccines for children 5-11 that isn’t yet operational.

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Julia Forrest
Julia Forrest

Julia Forrest is a contributor to the Michigan Advance. She has been covering Michigan and national politics for two years at the Michigan Daily and OpenSecrets. She studies public policy at the University of Michigan.