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With FDA approval, state urges residents get COVID vaccine

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is renewing its call to Michiganders to get vaccinated as soon as possible after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine gained approval from Food and Drug Administration and a unanimous recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for ages 16 and older.

“We now have a fully FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine and ACIP has added its unanimous recommendation,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “For Michiganders who have been waiting for this approval, now is the time to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine and join the more than 4.7 million Michigan residents who are already fully vaccinated. The vaccine is our best defense against the virus and the way we are going to end this pandemic together.”

ACIP provides advice and guidance to the director of the CDC regarding use of vaccines and related agents for control of vaccine-preventable diseases in the United States. The committee’s 14-0 vote came a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine was the first COVID-19 vaccine to be distributed in December 2020 and was shown to be better than 94% effective against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Vaccinating adolescents ages 12 to 15 with the Pfizer vaccine and additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals remain under Emergency Use Authorization. ACIP plans to meet this month to further discuss recommendations for booster doses after reviewing additional data.

To date, nearly 5.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in Michigan and more than 65% of Michiganders have gotten at least their first dose of one of the three safe, effective vaccines. From January to July of this year, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 98% of COVID cases, 95% of hospitalizations and 96% of deaths.

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, go online to Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

For more information about COVID-19 in Michigan, go to Michigan.gov/coronavirus.

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