Jun 21, 2022 - COVID

COVID vaccinations for young children available this week

Illustration of a stack of wooden toy blocks showing a syringe, a COVID cell and a cotton swab.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5 are expected to be available this week for the first time at local health care providers.

Why it matters: The shots' availability is a big moment for parents who have anxiously been waiting to vaccinate their young children.

Driving the news: The CDC signed off on allowing Moderna and Pfizer shots for children as young as 6 months old Saturday.

The impact: The state health department preordered 27,500 Moderna vaccine doses and 38,100 for Pfizer.

  • The CDC was expected to begin shipping them yesterday, but it may take a few days for providers to train staff and set up appointments, according to the department.

State of play: Shortages are not expected in part because misinformation and vaccine hesitancy remain prevalent, Bishara Freij, chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, tells Axios.

  • Less than 30% of kids under 5 will get vaccinated nationally, Freij predicts.
  • "I hope I'm mistaken, but just judging from what exists on the ground, I'm seeing people are more hesitant with younger kids," he says.

Zoom in: The Detroit Health Department is waiting for a go-ahead from the state and a shipment of these vaccines — both of which it hopes will happen in the "next day or so," a spokesperson told Axios yesterday.

Yes, but: Specifics on Detroit's strategy for this new round have not yet been publicly released. The city has a low vaccination rate of 42.3%, compared with 60.8% statewide.

  • The rate for kids 5-11 years old, who became eligible in November, is 10.3%, compared with a statewide figure of 25%.

Context: Parents are less likely to be vaccinated than those without children, and if parents aren't vaccinated, they're unlikely to vaccinate their young kids, a recent University of Michigan survey of Detroiters found.

  • But parents are more likely to have been vaccinated recently than when the initial adult vaccines first became public in 2021 — a fact that the report says "suggests efforts to encourage parents to vaccinate may be gaining ground."

Nearby vaccination sites

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