Ingham County to begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 for COVID-19 on Thursday
LANSING – The Ingham County Health Department said it will begin vaccinating adolescent children for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine just approved by the U.S. for children ages 5 to 11 will be available by appointment at the health department's clinic at 5303 S. Cedar Street in Lansing.
Appointments are available from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, as well as at the department's regular COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Tuesdays and Fridays. Appointments can be scheduled by going to Ingham County Health Department's web page. A parent or guardian must be present.
Vaccination appointments at one of the county's community health centers also can be made by calling (517) 887-4517 (choose option #3).
Top state health officials, pediatricians and other advocates urged parents to get Michigan’s 825,000 children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated against COVID-19 after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer’s kid-size shots.
They said more than 450 children under age 12 are becoming infected with the coronavirus each day. While the risk of severe illness and death is low in young children, there is no way to know how serious an individual case might be, they said.
“Yesterday’s decision will help move us forward towards safer classrooms, family gatherings, participation in sports, celebrations and all kinds of other milestones,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the state’s chief medical executive.
The doses approved for children are about a third of the amount given to teens and adults. The child-sized doses are administered in two shots three weeks apart.
Along with county health departments, pharmacies other providers have begun receiving the doses.
"We have been seeing an increase in cases in this age group (5 to 11), so approval of the COVID-19 vaccine ... will contribute tremendously to prevention efforts," Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said in a news release. "The vaccine will make it safer for children to visit friends and family members, celebrate holiday gatherings and to remain heathy in school.
The health department is working with the Ingham Intermediate School District to make the vaccine available for eligible children and their families in local school districts, officials said. More information about that will be released by ICHD on its website and social media sites.
State officials have made no predictions about how many children ages 5 to 11 will get the shots. About 62% of Michigan residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated, below the national figure of 68%.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact Ken Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj.
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Ingham County to begin vaccinating children ages 5-11 for COVID-19 on Thursday