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Health

What are the COVID vaccine rates for teens in your county?

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Children ages 5 to 11 may be allowed to get a COVID vaccine soon.

The state of Michigan has pre-ordered 287,700 doses of the pediatric coronavirus vaccine, ready to be distributed once it is greenlighted.

This week, a committee advising the FDA recommended young kids ages 5 to 11 should be allowed to get doses of the Pfizer vaccine. A dose for a child this age will be one-third the amount of a dose that someone older than 12 would get.

The Associated Press reports the FDA isn’t bound by the panel’s recommendation and is expected to make its own decision within days. If the FDA agree, there’s still another step: Next week, the CDC will have to decide whether to recommend the shots and which youngsters should get them.

Right now, kids older than 12 are eligible for the vaccine. 46% of kids and teens in Michigan have at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Use this tool below to see what the initiation rates are across the state.

Counties with the highest vaccination rates are:

  • Leelanau: 70.6% of kids and teens have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Oakland: 62.7%
  • Grand Traverse: 61.8%
  • Wayne, not including Detroit: 56%
  • Washtenaw: 55.5%

Counties with the lowest vaccination rates are:

  • Sanilac: 21.7%
  • Lake: 21.4%
  • Ogemaw: 21.2%
  • Mecosta: 20.5%
  • Oscoda: 15.4%

You can view the past rates here.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a directive earlier this week to expediate the order of the vaccine to young children in the statement to "ensure that students could continue in-person learning in a safe environment this year."

“The Michigan-made Pfizer vaccine is safe, effective, free, and expected to be approved for Michiganders between 5 and 11 years old. This is a game-changer for our kids that will protect them as they continue to learn in-person in the classroom this school year, participate in extracurricular activities, or see friends and family this holiday season," Whitmer said in the news release. "My directive today ensures equitable, expedited distribution of the vaccines. Parents should sign up to protect their kids.”

According to the release, there are around 825,000 Michigan children who are expected to be newly eligible.

The state has pre-ordered more than 280,000 doses for children. The directive aims to:

  • Encouraging all pediatric vaccination providers to enroll as COVID vaccine providers, "including by educating pediatricians and family practice providers about eligibility, barriers to access, and the importance of pediatric vaccination."
  • Promoting vaccination by working with child health centers, federal qualified health centers, pharmacies, local health department and community clinics.
  • Considering access barriers presented by "geography, income, age, race, ethnicity, primary language, or disability status."

Dr. Matthew Hornik is the President of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians.

“Vaccinating  kids and teens against COVID will protect their health, allow them to re-engage more safely in activities they’ve missed out on this past year, and protect more vulnerable classmates and family members,” he said in the release.

While COVID is often considered to be milder for children, some can experience dangerous outcomes. Young people can also contribute to community spread of the virus. Past MDHHS’s data updates have said there is a correlation showing that “(d)istricts without mask requirements are experiencing higher case rates.” But it is not causation, meaning other factors could be at play.

There have been over 196,600 cases of coronavirus among Michiganders under 19 in total. 172 suffered from a rare inflammatory disease that has appeared in children who have either had COVID or been near someone who has had COVID.

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