Syringe
Detroit’s Health Department this week began offering COVID-19 vaccines at two clinics for kids six month and up. (Shutterstock)

The city is offering COVID-19 vaccines for children six months and up at two Detroit clinics.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines became available for young children this week following an emergency use authorization this month from the federal Food & Drug Administration and with recent approval from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

Pediatric doses are being offered at the Detroit Health Department, 100 Mack Avenue and the Northwest Activities Center, 18100 Meyers. 

Detroit’s Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair Razo said in a statement that the eligibility expansion is welcome news for the city’s youngest residents and stressed data proves that the vaccines are safe and effective in preventing spread of COVID-19 and all of its variants. 

“We know that young children and even babies can contract COVID-19, and vaccines reduce the severity of illness which keeps everyone safer,” Fair Razo said. “I encourage parents to talk to their pediatrician or our clinicians if they have any questions. Please get vaccinated, get your booster and get tested if you have any symptoms. They are the best way to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.”

Detroit Public Schools Community District is an authorized provider of all required childhood vaccines as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. The district is working with the city’s health department to ensure families have access to those immunizations, Chrystal Wilson, a spokeswoman for the district, said in a statement. 

“Our goal is to assist families with COVID immunizations for students who are 4 years of age and older, with consent,” the statement notes. “Currently, we do not have plans to provide the vaccine to children who are not school age but we would be open to that opportunity if the DHD sees that need and there is a demand for it in the community.” 

According to the state health department, the Moderna vaccine series for children six months through five years includes two doses given 28 days apart. For children six months through four years, the Pfizer series is three doses, with the first two given three weeks apart and the third dose administered at least eight weeks afterward. 

State health officials have estimated more than 500,000 Michigan children under five are eligible for the vaccine. 

The age group expansion comes after health officials in May approved a third booster dose for children ages 5-11 who have completed their primary vaccine series at least five months ago. 

Those 12 and up can get vaccines and boosters on a walk-in basis at all of the Detroit Health Department’s vaccination sites, including Saturday Pediatric Pop-Up Health clinics being held in neighborhoods across the city in July and August. 

As of Wednesday, Detroit has recorded 137,322 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,509 deaths from the virus since it was first detected in Michigan in March 2020. 

Free COVID-19 tests and Test to Treat medication are available by appointment to individuals who work and live in Detroit between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Joseph Walker Williams Community Center, 8431 Rosa Parks Boulevard. 

For information on city vaccination sites, appointments, testing and medications visit the Health Department website or call (313) 230-0505.

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