Expanded Pfizer Vaccine Eligibility Will Not Impact Re-Opening Plan

When the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency authorization for 12-15 year-olds to receive the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, the decision opened up access for half a million Michiganders but also rose some questions.

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“We’ve been anticipating that and somewhat impatiently gearing up to be offered these vaccines,” said Dr. Joshua Meyerson, medical director of three Northern Michigan health departments.

Once the Center for Disease Control signs off, as they are expected to do Wednesday, shots can begin going in many more arms.

“I would anticipate that will start vaccinating that age group right away,” said Meyerson.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer agreed while touring a vaccination site in Kalamazoo County.

“We think very soon,” said Gov. Whitmer, “Probably in the next day or two, those will begin in earnest.”

There are about 498,000 Michiganders in this new age group.aIs the state were to add them to the ‘MI Vacc to Normal’ plan, it would slide Michigan’s vaccination rate about five percent, further from the check points. Due to that, Whitmer says they will not be added.

“Of course, we will be monitoring and encouraging vaccines for 12 to 15-year-olds,” said Whitmer, “But we’re not going to immediately roll in those numbers because it would artificially slow the progress that we’re making. We want to give people predictability and goals to focus on.”

At least for Northern Michigan, supply is not expected to run short, despite the increased pool of eligible Michiganders only allowed to use one brand.

“We should see an increased demand,” said Dr. Jennifer Morse, medical director of District Health Department #10, “We still have a large amount of available vaccines to order from the CDC. We have plenty, so even if all 500,000 12-to-15-year-olds got vaccinated, we’d still have enough.”

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus Support