MDHHS updates vaccine eligibility, panel meeting on Moderna, Canton community mourns boy dead after being shot

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services now says teens ages 16 and 17 will be included in the state's efforts to vaccinate 70% of Michigan adults by the end of 2021

Michigan health officials set the goal of vaccinating that percentage of the population - which is about 5.4 million people - but originally only said adults 18 and up were able to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccinations have begun being administered across the state after the FDA approved Pfizer's vaccine late last week. On Thursday, an FDA advisory panel will be meeting to discuss the Moderna vaccine, which is also expected to be approved soon

The MDHHS is also now recommending women who are pregnant also get vaccinated with, of course, a conversation with your doctor about it. 

The changes follow new guidelines by the Center for Diseases Control and could shift again as new information does become available about the vaccine. 

The goal of the vaccine is to get it to those who are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 first. You can see Michigan's prioritization plan here, which includes frontline healthcare workers in the first priority group. 

The vaccine isn't expected to be available to the general public in Michigan until late spring 2021. 

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine goes before advisory panel in last step before FDA approval

A key advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday is set to vote on whether to recommend the approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, one of the final hurdles before a second shot could be distributed in the United States.

The two-dose vaccine, from Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, was found to be more than 94% effective in preventing COVID-19 for individuals 18 and older. Earlier this week, the FDA released a preliminary analysis confirming the shot’s effectiveness and safety.

The independent panel of outside experts will next review the data available during an all-day meeting. It’s scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. ET to 5:15 p.m. ET, according to an agenda — with discussion and a vote planned for the afternoon.

A final FDA decision is expected soon thereafter, which is needed before the vaccine can be officially distributed to the masses.

Moderna requested emergency use authorization from the FDA on Nov. 30. Its Phase 3 trial, which began in late July, consisted of 30,000 volunteers — half of whom received a placebo.

The most common side effects were injection site pain, fatigue, headache, joint pain, muscle aches and redness at the injection site, according to a news release. The second dose produced the most frequent adverse reactions, Moderna said.

Relative says Canton 8-year-old died after being shot when father was cleaning gun

Police in Canton said Wednesday an 8-year-old boy died after being shot inside his home Tuesday afternoon. 

Police say a firearm was discharged around 4 p.m. at a home on Old Michigan Avenue. The child, identified as Jack Bennett, was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Police said an individual was in custody but did not give any further details about the shooting or about who is in custody. However, neighbors and family members are giving more detail about what happened.

"It was a freak accident," said Dale Petrick, the boy's grandfather. "He was cleaning the gun, he thought the gun was empty, he was not pulling the trigger or anything."

The family gave a photo of Jack dressed as a soldier from last Halloween. Jack was in the second grade at Walker-Winter Elementary School in Canton. 

Daily Forecast

Light snow and cold temps are in the forecast for Thursday. 

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Pence, wife to receive vaccine Friday in live broadcast, Biden could be vaccinated next week

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen will both receive the coronavirus vaccine during a live broadcast Friday, according to the White House. 

Pence’s planned vaccination on camera follows an announcement from President Donald Trump Sunday that he was reversing an administration directive to vaccinate top government officials against COVID-19 while public distribution of the shot is limited to front-line health workers and people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Aides to President-elect Joe Biden have been discussing when and how he should receive the vaccine and have been working to establish plans to boost virus safeguards in the West Wing to keep the 78-year-old Democrat healthy.

Biden reiterated Tuesday that he would take the vaccine in public, which he had previously committed to do. “I want to just make sure we do it by the numbers. When I do it, you'll have notice, and we'll do it publicly,” the president-elect said.