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Whitmer: The State has pre-ordered 287,700 doses of Pfizer's vaccine for kids

She says vaccinating those ages five to 11 will help ensure that students can continue in-person learning in a safe environment.
Credit: AP
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during the Detroit Branch NAACP's 66th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at TCF Center in Detroit on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (Nic Antaya/Detroit News via AP)

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive directive to state departments and agencies to expedite the ordering and distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric coronavirus vaccinations. She says vaccinating those ages five to 11 will help ensure that students can continue in-person learning in a safe environment.  

“Today, we’re taking action to keep our kids safe from COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “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. My directive today ensures equitable, expedited distribution of the vaccines. Parents should sign up to protect their kids.”

Whitmer signed the directive Tuesday, the same day the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) met to discuss emergency use authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

RELATED: FDA panel considers Pfizer's COVID-19 shot for young children

Once the FDA makes its recommendation to authorize the shot for ages 5 to 11, it will then move to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory group. That panel is scheduled to meet Nov. 2.

According to the state, the executive directive expedites the administration of pediatric vaccinations by:

  • Requiring the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to take all appropriate action to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination is available to all children in Michigan as soon as they are eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • Encouraging all pediatric vaccination providers to enroll as COVID-19 vaccine providers, including by educating pediatricians and family practice providers about eligibility, barriers to access, and the importance of pediatric vaccination.
  • Promoting vaccination in settings that facilitate ease of access, including by working with child and adolescent health centers serving grades K-12, federal qualified health centers, pharmacies, local health departments, and community clinics.
  • Promoting equity in accessibility of pediatric vaccination, considering barriers to access presented by geography, income, age, race, ethnicity, primary language, or disability status.

The directive also requires the State of Michigan to regularly report the proportion of children ages 5 to 11 who have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

In a release, Whitmer's office said the State of Michigan has pre-ordered 287,700 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric coronavirus vaccine to ensure a supply is quickly available when approval is granted.

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