Regulators at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday granted emergency authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds, a step that means kid-sized doses can begin shipping to health care providers across the country. The Centers for Disease Control’s panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss guidelines for the vaccine’s use in the younger age group.

State Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) writes, “For decades, top-down movements have been sowing the seeds of disinformation, which has created a world where everyday Americans cannot trust facts presented to them. This environment divides us and those who fuel disinformation intend to confuse Americans and pit us against each other. Our democracy is stronger when we work together. Those hellbent on power and control know this well — and use disinformation to push us apart. When we are too busy fighting each other, we fail to notice when bad actors chip away at our freedoms, our rights and our collective power.”

As all Michigan schools have begun 2021-22 classes, the state is reporting school- and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks on a weekly basis. As of Monday, 413 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and seven universities — Alma College, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Saginaw Valley State University, University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University and Concordia University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Congress in March authorized $19.5 billion in aid for cities and towns with fewer than 50,000 residents, including very small jurisdictions such as Bingham. Lawmakers wanted to help every town cover the cost of fighting a pandemic and recovering from last year’s recession. But in some small, rural or conservative towns, local leaders are refusing the cash. They say they don’t need it, and in some cases, don’t feel comfortable accepting it.

As of Sept. 16, more than 5.5 million children have been infected by the virus since the start of the pandemic. That represents more than 15% of the total cases, according to Dr. Lee Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. More than 21,000 children have been hospitalized, a rate that’s 2.5 to 3 times higher than flu-related hospitalizations, Beers testified.

As all Michigan schools have begun 2021-22 classes, the state is reporting school and sports-related COVID-19 outbreaks. As of Monday, 213 pre-kindergarten-12 schools and nine universities — Alma College, Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Northwood University, Adrian College, Northern Michigan University, University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University — are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Three Rivers Pastor James Smith writes, “God does not just work through miracle cures, but through science, medicine, and above all love. It may be that what is being tested right now is not our faith, but our love. Do we have the love to get a shot that we might not think we need but that will help us not get someone else sick? Do we have the love to come together as a country and as the world to defeat a common enemy to humanity?”