Detroit now offers COVID-19 vaccines to kids - here's what to know

Vaccine eligibilities are slowly making their way down the ladder of age, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving the Pfizer shot for adolescents age 12-15 on Tuesday and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention giving their blessing Wednesday.

As a result, Detroit will now be offering the vaccine by appointment or via walk-in to kids ages 12-17 at most of the same locations where doses are already available. 

While encouraging residents to get the shot has been a struggle in the city, which has pushed creative solutions from financial incentives, free transportation, and mobile vaccine clinics, it may be equally tough convincing those same people to take their children to get the shot.

In fact, children have been shown to have an even better response to the vaccine than adults do. The FDA said the vaccine was "100% effective" at curbing COVID-19 infection in kids. 

Coronavirus Vaccine offers 100% protection for kids

Prior to the FDA approving the vaccine for kids, it ran a clinical study where it administered 2,200 children a shot - 1,100 got the COVID-19 vaccine and 1,100 got a placebo shot.

In the group that received the shot, no cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. In the group that didn't, 16 cases were confirmed. 

The trial included adolescents age 12 to 15 years old.

The trial also found that adolescents with the vaccine had a higher number of antibodies in their immune systems than adults following administration. That means they had developed a strong protective immunity to the virus.

Are there still side effects for kids?

Like adults, kids still reported similar side effects from receiving the vaccine. Among the most common was pain near the injection site that is temporary.

There was also fatigue, headaches, and muscle pain reported following the vaccine - particularly after the second dose. 

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There were also less frequently reported side effects, including fever, joint pain, and nausea.

However, experts have repeatedly said this is common for receiving the shot because the body is trying to adapt to its added protections. But they are also short-lived effects that outweigh the potential damage contracting COVID-19 can do to the body.

Children are not immune to the virus

It's true that kids tend to cope better with the coronavirus after contracting it than adults. But that doesn't mean they aren't immune. 

According to the Covkid Project, 140168 people from the age of 0-19 have contracted COVID-19 in Michigan. At least 10 died and hundreds have been hospitalized as a result. 

As Dr. Joneigh Khaldun noted yesterday, many of those infections also left kids with MIS-C - or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children. The rare condition affects vital organs in kids.

How to vaccinate your kid in Detroit

Parents should still remember a few things before they take their kids to get the shot, however.

They'll need to be in attendance when they bring their kid, have an ID to show, and sign a consent form. Those rules were outlined by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan Wednesday when he said Detroit kids could get the shot as soon as they're eligible.

What parents won't be eligible for when they take their kid to get the shot is the city's Good Neighbor Program that pays $50 for every person that's convinced to get the shot. 

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"For somebody 17 or under, you can't bring your own child and get a $50 gift card," said Mayor Mike Duggan I don't want there ever to be a question about somebody took their kid in to get vaccinated because they wanted $50."

There's a slew of places to take your kid to get vaccinated. Locations open Monday through Friday include:

  • TCF Center
  • Northwest Activities Center
  • Samaritan Center
  • Farwell Recreation Center
  • Clemente Recreation Center
  • Clark Park
  • The Straight Gate Church

Vaccine locations will also be offering shots Saturday from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.:

  • Greater Grace Temple
  • Kemeny Recreation Center
  • Grace Community Church
  • New Providence Baptist Church
  • Greater Emmanuel COGIC
  • The Galilee Baptist Church

For more information about the doses or how to schedule an appointment, parents can call (313) 230-0505 Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.