In anticipation of action by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve COVID-19 vaccinations for children as young as five, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive directive to state departments and agencies today to expedite the ordering and distribution of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric coronavirus vaccinations. An FDA vaccine advisory panel is meeting today to consider approving emergency authorization to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 5-11. They are expected to vote later this afternoon to recommend approval, clearing the way for the FDA to give its final approval as early as next week.

Today's executive directive formally activates cross-agency collaboration to support vaccine roll out in Michigan. The executive directive expedites the administration of vaccines for kids by:

  • Requiring Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Licencing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to take all appropriate action to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination is available to all children in Michigan as soon as they are eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • Encouraging all pediatric vaccination providers to enroll as COVID-19 vaccine providers, including by educating pediatricians and family practice providers about eligibility, barriers to access, and the importance of pediatric vaccination.
  • Promoting vaccination in settings that facilitate ease of access, including by working with child and adolescent health centers serving grades K-12, federal qualified health centers, pharmacies, local health departments, and community clinics.
  • Promoting equity in accessibility of pediatric vaccination, considering barriers to access presented by geography, income, age, race, ethnicity, primary language, or disability status.

For districts looking to take a more active role in promoting vaccination, the state has identified several ways you can help:

  • Host vaccine clinics at schools and in communities. Districts can partner with their local health department or request a mobile vaccine clinic.
  • Promote vaccine sites. You can find sites offering vaccines in your community at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.
  • Share information about vaccination and encourage families to reach out to their pediatrician or healthcare provider with questions. The state and national partners will be sharing resources as they’re available. For example, here’s a toolkit that supports outreach to youth ages 12-18 about vaccines.

MASSP will continue to keep members informed as this issue progresses.

Executive Directive 2021-7