ALPENA, Mich. — As of today, April 5, everyone 16 years and older in Michigan is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The expanded eligibility comes at a crucial time, as Michigan reported its highest daily case count since December over the weekend. On Saturday, 8,413 confirmed cases were reported in the state with 57 deaths. Another 10,293 confirmed cases and 21 deaths were reported between Sunday and Monday.
The dramatic rise in new cases seems to be driven by greater circulation of more contagious variants, just as children and teens have returned to in-person activities like sports, parties, and classes. Cases are rising among all age groups, but one of the largest number of new COVID-19 cases is among children ages 10-19, the first time that’s happened since the start of the pandemic.
Over the past month, incidence in this age group has more than doubled in the state. Cases among younger children — infants through 9-year-olds — are also going up, increasing by more than 230% since Feb. 19, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for those below 18 years old. Individuals 16 and 17 years old can join a wait list for the Pfizer vaccine at www.dhd4.org/covid19vaccine.