With the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for children 5-11 years old Tuesday, children in Washtenaw County are now eligible to receive the vaccine beginning next week. Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, public information officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department, announced in a press release Wednesday that vaccines will begin for children on Nov. 9.
“Vaccination continues to be our best tool for protecting individuals from serious illness and limiting the impact of COVID overall,” WCHD health officer Jimena Loveluck said in the press release. “Combining vaccination with non-medical interventions like masks, distance, and isolation or quarantine, provides as much protection as possible.”
Starting at noon on Nov. 5 and Nov. 8, appointments will be available here. First appointments will be available on Nov. 9, and there will be no waiting list. For anyone under 18 years old seeking vaccination, appointments are required, and a parent or guardian must accompany the minor.
Loveluck wrote in the press release that the vaccine is currently widely available across Washtenaw County.
“Importantly, we do not expect vaccine supplies to be limited for our 5 to 11-year old children,” Loveluck said. “Please be patient with us and other vaccine providers. More and more opportunities for these vaccinations are coming as we and others finalize plans and announce dates.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use in children on Oct. 29, finding that it was 90.7% effective in children ages 5-11. The FDA found that there were very few side effects reported in children involved in the clinical trials.
The CDC currently lists Washtenaw County as an area of “high” level of COVID-19 transmission. The approval of the vaccine for younger children makes 800,000 more Michigan residents eligible for vaccination.