Detroit to offer Pfizer vaccine to teens following CDC approval

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — Mayor Mike Duggan on Wednesday said the city will begin offering the Pfizer vaccine to teens age 12 to 15 on Thursday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the vaccine for use in kids older than 12 Wednesday afternoon, Duggan said, days after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the two-dose vaccine for emergency use in children in the U.S., paving the way for the mass vaccination of middle- and high-school students before the next school year.

More: CDC advisers back use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in adolescents

Duggan said hours before the CDC gave its OK that the city was prepared to distribute vaccines to kids age 12 to 15 who are accompanied by a parent or guardian starting Thursday.

The parent or guardian will have to show identification and sign a written consent form. The "good neighbor" incentives do not qualify to anyone under the age of 18, Duggan said.

The city's Good Neighbor program offers a prepaid $50 MasterCard for anyone who registers while making the appointment to bring a Detroiter and gives another $50 for bringing them to their second dose.

“You should bring your child in to get vaccinated… but I don’t want anyone to think you can make $50 by doing it. Assuming the CDC votes in the next hour or so, bring your child tomorrow," he said.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun (left) listens to Mayor Mike Duggan as he discusses Detroit's infant mortality rate on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.

The city's vaccination rates continue to lag behind the state, which is going to slow reopening the city, Duggan said.

“Today’s action allows for a younger population to be protected from COVID-19, bringing us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement Monday.

In Detroit, vaccination rates lag as about 33% of residents have received one dose, according to the city's COVID-19 dashboard. That's compared to 58% of residents in outer-Wayne County, 51% in Macomb County, 62% in Oakland and Washtenaw counties. Overall, 55% of the state's residents age 16 or older have at least one shot.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the city have dropped from 419 to 286 in the past 30 days, Duggan said. 

As of Tuesday, the city tallied more than 49,200 cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, resulting in 2,088 deaths.

The majority of cases have stemmed from ZIP codes 48228, 48235, 48219, 48224 and 48227.

The city has 39 vaccine locations including the TCF Center, Ford Field mass vaccination clinic, walk-in locations and eight community Saturday locations at neighborhood churches and recreation centers. 

To schedule a vaccination appointment in the city, call (313) 230-0505 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Find the nearest location by texting your address to (313) 217-3732.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_