(November 3, 2021 10:15 AM) The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), doctors and state public health leaders today urged Michigan parents to get their children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccine, which received emergency use authorization for this age group from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Nov. 2.
MDHHS is recommending providers begin vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 years as soon as possible.
“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 Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We know these vaccines work and protect our children and their families. Even healthy children can suffer serious affects from COVID-19. The vaccines remain our way out of the pandemic, and more than 825,000 more children in our state are now eligible.”
In Michigan, there have been more than 201,000 confirmed COVID cases in those age 19 and younger, and 20 deaths have been reported in ages 10 to 19 as of Nov. 2. More than 450 children under the age of 12 become infected with the virus each day.
“It is important to get children ages five and up vaccinated as quickly as possible to save even more lives and reduce serious illness,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “Getting the safe and effective vaccines are an effort that every eligible Michigander can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and to help end this pandemic. Working together we can help some of our youngest Michiganders get back to more normal activities with friends, sports teams, classmates and more.”
Based on data provided by Pfizer, the vaccine was shown to be nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic disease from COVID-19 in this age group. The pediatric formulation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is administered as a series of two doses, 21 days apart, at one-third the amount of the adult dosage. Clinical trial participants demonstrated a strong immune response one month after the second dose. The most commonly reported side effects, typically lasting one to three days, were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain. With the exception of pain at the injection site, more children reported these side effects after the second dose than after the first dose.
More than 825,000 Michigan children will now be eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. With 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, there are plenty of providers and vaccines available for eligible children. MDHHS has ordered 287,700 doses for the initial rollout, which is the full allocation provided by CDC for the launch of vaccination efforts. Vaccines will be available immediately beginning Nov. 3, and parents can find a vaccine by visiting Vaccines.gov or by calling 211.
“Vaccinating the children of Michigan against COVID will make it safer to continue in-person schooling, visit with family members, especially over the holidays, and will allow Michigan kids to resume normal activities they have missed during this pandemic,” said Dr. Matthew Hornik, DO, FAAP, president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Children have struggled tremendously during this pandemic, the COVID vaccine is a game changer for 5 to 11 year olds. Pediatricians are available to answer any questions or concerns parents have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and are gearing up to administer the vaccine to children as soon as it is approved by the CDC.”
Vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. To date, more than 42% of children ages 12 to 15 have received their first dose the safe and effective Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Data from the FDA and CDC show that children 5 to 11 years of age account for approximately 9% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. overall, and approximately 40% of pediatric cases. COVID-19 has infected 1.9 million children ages 5 to 11 nationwide and hospitalized 8,300. About one-third of hospitalized children required treatment in the ICU. 146 children have died, and over 5,000 have developed Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder (MIS-C).
From January to October, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 93.1% of COVID cases, 90.7% of hospitalizations and 90.5% of deaths.
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.
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