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Michigan expands neighborhood testing sites to offer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5 through 11 years
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 16, 2021
CONTACT: Chelsea Wuth, 517-241-2112
LANSING, Mich. - To provide greater access to more Michigan residents, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations at its neighborhood testing sites to also offer the vaccine to children ages 5 through 11 years. To date, vaccines have only been offered at these sites to adults and children ages 12 years and older.
"We're proud of the progress that's been made vaccinating more Michigan residents, but there is still work to be done," said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. "Expanding access at our neighborhood testing sites make it easier for families to vaccinate their children by bringing vaccine clinics to where people are in our communities, including rural and other areas that are harder to reach. Vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19, and we urge everyone to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible."
More than 5.4 million Michiganders 16 and older, or 72.3%, have received at least their first dose of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Michigan is working to increase awareness of local vaccination opportunities for residents.
On Nov 2., Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 pediatric vaccine, which had received emergency use authorization for children ages 5 through11 years from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MDHHS is recommending that parents vaccinate their children ages 5 through 11 years as soon as possible.
Data from the CDC demonstrate that children in the 5 through 11 age group account for approximately 10.6% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. COVID-19 has infected 1.9 million children ages 5 through 11 years nationwide and resulted in the hospitalization of 8,300 children. About one-third of hospitalized children required treatment in the ICU. At least 94 COVID-19-associated deaths occurred in children aged 5 through 11 years. Over 5,200 have developed Multisystem Inflammatory Disorder (MIS-C) (187 in Michigan).
To help raise awareness of upcoming local community COVID-19 vaccination clinics and testing sites, the MDHHS is releasing a weekly list of clinics for publication through media outlets.
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.