LANSING — Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are now approved for children under 5 years of age, after an emergency use authorization from the federal government, and may be available as soon as Tuesday.
The Pfizer vaccine, which was already authorized for ages 5 and up, is now authorized down to 6 months of age, while the Moderna vaccine is now authorized for children ages 6 months through 5 years.
The pediatric vaccine, which received emergency use authorization for this age group from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on June 18.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recommending providers begin vaccinating children ages 6 months and up as soon as possible. It was anticipated that both vaccines could be available as early as Tuesday.
The Moderna series is two doses given 28 days apart for ages 6 months through 5 years. For children 6 months of age through 4-years-old, the Pfizer series is three doses, the first two given three weeks apart and the third dose administered at least eight weeks after the second dose. For ages 5 and older, the Pfizer series is two doses given 21 days apart.
The MDHHS says more than 500,000 Michigan children under the age of 5 will now be eligible to receive the vaccine. All eligible children are recommended to get vaccinated and stay up-to-date on vaccines even if they have previously had COVID-19. Children younger than 5 can receive vaccine from a primary care provider, local health department or federally qualified health center. Some pharmacies will vaccinate ages 3 and up. Visit Vaccines.gov for nearby vaccine locations – age specific information will soon be available.
In Michigan, there have been more than 427,000 confirmed COVID cases in those age 19 and younger, and 44 deaths have been reported in ages 0 to 19 as of June 15.
Health officials say vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19. To date, more than 6.7 million Michiganders have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are extremely grateful to now be able to vaccinate nearly all residents in our state,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “It is important to get children ages 6 months and up vaccinated as quickly as possible to save even more lives and reduce serious illness across our communities, and we want to remind everyone to get boosted if they are eligible. Getting the safe and effective vaccine is an effort that every eligible Michigan resident can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Working together we can help keep our families safe and healthy.”
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine.