THURSDAY NEWS HIT - A panel of scientists signed off on it. The Michigan governor had directed the state to expedite its distribution. After one more panel approval, all that's left is for the director of the Food and Drug Administration to give their blessing.
One of the last population groups in the U.S. to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine may soon be able to get the shot as children ages 5-11 remain one of the last unvaccinated groups. The FDA could give the green light as early as next week.
"I was ready to get her vaccinated back when the older kids were approved. I just couldn't do it," said Dr. Matthew Sims of Beaumont Health. "(Vaccines are) one of the single greatest contributions to medicine and general health of the public ever."
A group of scientists gave unanimous approval with one abstaining during a Tuesday review of the COVID-19 vaccine with a child-sized dose for younger kids. Now local health departments in Michigan are readying up to quicken the process of ordering and distributing the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine.
"My directive today ensures equitable, expedited distribution of the vaccines. Parents should sign up to protect their kids," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. Michigan has pre-ordered 286,700 doses of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine.
There was a rare heart-related side effect that arises out of children given a stronger dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But scientists said the chances of it showing is very rare.
Among the final steps to approval is the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is scheduled to meet Nov. 2-3 to review data and recommendations. That ACIP's authority has to do with how the U.S. should use the vaccine and whether mandates should be deployed in schools.
After that assumed recommendation, it'll go to the CDC for final approval.
From January to October, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 93.1% of COVID cases, 90.7% of hospitalizations and 90.5% of deaths.
After the staggered-but-slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults at the beginning of the year, Whitmer hopes to avoid any delays for distributing the vaccine to kids.
The executive directive expedites the administration of pediatric vaccinations by:
- Requiring the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs 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.
Woman dies after Covid diagnosis arrives too late
Teresa Lisowski says her mom did everything right. The 74-year-old was fully vaccinated on Aug. 4 before she began to experience sinus congestion, ear pain, and a headache. She contacted urgent care in Livonia.
Lisowski took a look at records and found her mom, Marilyn Pfeifer, wasn't tested for Covid and instead diagnosed with a sinus infection. "They didn't test me because I was vaccinated," she remembers her mom saying. A week later, her condition worsened and she was confirmed to have COVID-19. In a matter of days, she lost breathing capability. She died in September on her 75th birthday.
Had she been screened, Lisowski said, doctors would have been able to give her Regeneron or the monoclonal antibody treatment. "I pulled up my picture and I said, 'This is my mom on a ventilator across the street,'" Lisowski said. "(I said) 'She was here two weeks ago. You guys diagnosed her with a sinus infection and you did not Covid test her because she is vaccinated - and now she is fighting for her life on a ventilator.'"
The CDC recommends testing for people with symptoms - vaccinated or not. FOX 2 put in a call to Lakes Urgent Care in Livonia to ask why Pfeifer wasn't tested. We haven't heard back.
Retired Detroit music industry pro perishes in house fire
A music producer and personality of the local radio scene with a knack for kickstarting young artists' careers died after a fire tore through Laurence Davis' home Wednesday morning. The 68-year-old was on the phone with a friend when he realized his East Vernor home was on fire.
"She heard him say, "Help me, help me,'" said Harry Todd, Davis' cousin. He could be seen from the window screaming for help. Davis would die after being unable to escape through the bars on his windows upstairs. An investigation by the Detroit Fire Department and the Detroit Police Department is underway.
"This was our family home, 3643 East Werner Highway," said Todd said. "Everyone of my family grew up and went to school here all of our memories are right there." As painful as the loss is, Todd has emphasized the need to remember and rejoice in what his cousin accomplished in his time on Earth.
"He fell in love with the music industry years ago," Todd said. "He was an A&R guy for Warner Bros and CBS Records," Todd said. "He was really involved with artist development and cultivation. He was really connected with the local radio scene, the Electrifying Mojo, Tiger Dan."
Mom says student was assaulted and called n-word on bus
Jazmine Gipson says her 6-year-old was assaulted by a student on the school bus and called the n-word and was spat on. The incident happened Monday on the way home. Irvin's 9-year-old sister tried stepping in but was also called the n-word. "The little boy told him to take whatever and shove it up his rectum," said Gipson.
Gipson has since emailed the principal and her son's teacher, who has the student who made the remark in her class. She says she wants the district to put the child in another classroom and disciplined appropriately.
She also filed a police report with Chesterfield Township Police and reached out to the transportation department for the school district. Now she’s been keeping her kids at home since the incident occurred.
"They did not go into details about what this child’s consequences were," Gipson said. "I trusted it would be a great consequence. I also asked if an assembly could be done at the school to talk about other races, racial slurs and if parents could be involved."
Recall campaign against Michigan officials over Covid bonuses can go forward
A judge rejected appeals, clearing the way for a recall campaign against three Michigan county officials who gave themselves bonuses with federal COVID-19 money before public outcry caused a reversal.
The appeals were full of errors and didn’t comply with court rules, The Argus-Press reported, citing a decision by Shiawassee County Judge Matthew Stewart. The decision means signatures can be gathered to try to force a recall election next year against Jeremy Root, Cindy Garber and John Plowman, all Republicans who serve on the county Board of Commissioners.
"I was not allowed due process," Plowman said. "We did everything the court asked and then some. And then not to be heard is really something." The recall petition says the three committed "malfeasance for knowingly doing wrong against the people."
Calling it "hazard pay," commissioners last summer voted to give $557,000 in federal virus money to county rank-and-file workers and elected officials. They also rewarded themselves: Root got $25,000, Plowman received $10,000 and Garber got $5,000
What else we're watching
- Planet Fitness is donating treadmills and exercise bikes to all 38 Detroit Firehouses in an effort to support physical and mental wellness among the first responders.
- Speaking of DFD, firefighters are ending fire prevention month with a door-to-door campaign to install free smoke alarms in Detroit. They'll meet at 9 a.m. and fan out across the city.
- Election season 2021 is just around the corner with the November ballot encompassing plenty of significant local elections. Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey will hold a press conference Thursday to discuss preparations and expected turnout. It'll be held at 11 a.m.
- The Michigan Redistricting Commission shut out the public to one of its meetings Wednesday to discuss a legal memo, following a disruption of the scheduled meeting due to a death threat. It's unclear if the move violated the Open Meetings Act.
- Erebus in Pontiac was named one of the country's top haunted attractions this week.
Live on FOX 2
Cloudy, breezy, and 60 degrees - that's on the Thursday forecast before some expected rain Friday and a gradual descent into lower high temperatures next week.
'Fluffernutter,' 'dad bod': Merriam-Webster dictionary adds 455 new words
Just as language evolves, so too does the Merriam-Webster dictionary — which added 455 new words in October.
"Fluffernutter," "dad bod" and "deplatform" are among the new words added, the dictionary's editors announced Wednesday.
"New terms and new uses for existing terms are the constant in a living language, and our latest list brings together both new and likely familiar words that have shown extensive and established use," Merriam-Webster said in a statement.
New words related to online culture and communication include "TBH," an abbreviation for "to be honest," and "deplatform," to remove and ban (a registered user) from a mass communication medium — such as a social networking or blogging website.