Michigan prepares to give first pediatric COVID-19 vaccines to kids ages 5-11

Posted at 5:33 AM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-03 05:33:41-04

(WXYZ) — Tens of millions of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

A CDC panel voted unanimously in favor of the vaccine on Tuesday night after reviewing data. Pediatric doses have already arrived at local pharmacies and are expected to start going into arms on Wednesday.

In Michigan, there are already 287,000 doses set aside. The state wants to make getting vaccinated super easy for parents, so they're working with pediatrician offices, schools, churches and other places you might take your kids. Experts are worried many families are still on the fence.

COVID-19 outbreaks have wreaked havoc in the classroom since the school year started.

Now, an estimated 28 million kids ages 5 to 11 are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, just in time for the holidays.

"To be able to see family, to be able to give their grandparents a hug without feeling like the ones that could pass it to them," Sarah Rauner, a chief pediatric nurse, said.

Rauner says through extensive studies Pfizer has proved these shots work. But science isn't convincing everyone.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 3 in 10 parents will definitely not get their kids vaccinated. 33 percent said they plan to wait and see.

"It's normal to hesitate in any decision you are making for your child, especially in vaccination in the middle of a pandemic, so once you validate those feelings tell them to go to trusted resources," Rauner said.

She says a simple conversation with your child's doctor could put you at ease.

She says side effects should be minimal, especially since the pediatric dose is smaller than the adult dose.

"Talk to them about all that stuff ahead of time, prepare them and remain calm. The more us parents get excited or nervous around them when they are getting vaccines or procedures, the harder it is on them," she said.

During Pfizer's clinical trials, the most common side effect was a sore arm. Fever was less common with only about 6% of kids running a fever.

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