(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive directive to different state departments to prepare to expand COVID-19 vaccinations to children.
Under the directive, Whitmer is asking state departments and agencies to expedite the ordering and distribution of the Pfizer vaccine to kids 5-11 years old.
An FDA advisory committee is meeting on Tuesday to discuss giving emergency use authorization to give the vaccine to children. It's currently authorized to people ages 2 and up.
“Today, we’re taking action to keep our kids safe from COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a release. “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."
It's expected the vaccine could be approved for use early next month.
Pfizer said the vaccine was shown to be 91% effective at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 during a trial.
According to the state, the executive directive will require the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure the vaccine is available to all children when they are eligible, promote vaccination in settings that facilitate the ease of access, encourage pediatricians to enroll as vaccine providers and more.
The state will also reguarly report the number of children ages 5-11 who have gotten the vaccine.
“Throughout the pandemic we have taken every possible measure to keep Michiganders safe,” MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a release. “Being able to protect our children is a critical and exciting development in our efforts to end this pandemic. It is important that children get vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
The state has pre-ordered 287,700 doses of the Pfizer pediatric vaccine to ensure a supply is available.
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