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COVID vaccine for kids could be in Michigan next week

A young child receives a vaccine from a gloved hand.
Stevica Mrdja/Microgen - stock.adobe.com
About 69% of adults in Michigan have gotten at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. However, in some counties the rate is still below 50%. Health officials say the vaccination rate for 12- to 15- year-olds is less than 50%. They're concerned that once vaccines are available for children ages five to 11, they won't get the kind of participation that's needed to end the pandemic. (File photo)

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a COVID vaccine for children 5- to 11- years old. The CDC still has to sign off on the pediatric Pfizer vaccine which could happen early next week. Michigan has already been allocated 287 thousand doses.

The concern now is getting enough kids vaccinated. Approval for vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds came in May. Less than half that age group in the state have been vaccinated.

Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian became the State of Michigan's Chief Medical Executive in October of this year.
State of Michigan
Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian became the State of Michigan's Chief Medical Executive in October of this year.

“And I’m anticipating that we’ll be overcoming the same barriers with our five to 11 vaccination,” said Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive.

The state is working with several partners to get kids vaccinated, but research shows parents prefer their own physician provide the vaccine to their children.

There’s some urgency.

With fewer people wearing masks and low vaccination rates in some areas, a new COVID surge could come after the holidays. Colder weather means more people gathering indoors, especially during the holidays. COVID could spread faster.

“Having a surge after the holidays is a very distinct possibility. Not only that, but we’re heading into the holidays with a higher baseline rate of COVID transmission than we did last year. So, we’re definitely taking the very seriously,” Bagdasarian said.

She’s encouraging vaccinations and being more vigilant about wearing a mask.

Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian was a guest on Friday's episode of Stateside.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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