Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive directive to help expedite the vaccination of hundreds of thousands of young Michiganders.

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Whitmer issued the executive directive on Tuesday as the FDA gave the okay for the use of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in children aged 5-11. The governor calls the expansion of vaccine eligibility a 'game changer':

Today, we’re taking action to keep our kids safe from COVID-19. The Michigan-made Pfizer vaccine is safe, effective, free, and expected to be approved for Michiganders between 5 and 11 years old. This is a game-changer for our kids that will protect them as they continue to learn in-person in the classroom this school year, participate in extracurricular activities, or see friends and family this holiday season. My directive today ensures equitable, expedited distribution of the vaccines. Parents should sign up to protect their kids.

The State of Michigan has pre-ordered 287,700 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric coronavirus vaccine to ensure a supply is quickly available when approval is granted. There are currently approximately 825,000 children that will be eligible as early as next week when final approval is given.

The approval is a major step in combating the pandemic as many school districts across the state have experienced outbreaks since in-person schooling returned for the 2021-2022 school year.

The ability to vaccinate those 5-11 years of age will mean that all parents will now be able to vaccinate their school-aged children. Prior to the FDA Approval, only children 12-17 could be vaccinated with the Pfizer doses.

From January to October, unvaccinated Michiganders accounted for 93.1% of COVID cases, 90.7% of hospitalizations, and 90.5% of deaths.

Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.