Tens of thousands of children aged 5 to 11 in New York City have received COVID-19 vaccine shots since the opening of school-based vaccination sites, and it is time for the city to further intensify the effort, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
“We’re seeing tremendous demand when it comes to the youngest New Yorkers, and it’s really exciting,” de Blasio said Monday during a press briefing. He added that even though the vaccine has only been available for the 5 to 11 year age group for a very brief period of time, the city is seeing a “really great response.”
“Specifically, the focus on our school sites has been really, really promising,” de Blasio continued. “Parents are coming out in big numbers to get their kids vaccinated at the schools.”
As of Monday morning, some 62,000 pediatric vaccine doses has already been administered in the city, including 22,500 given out at public schools, according to the mayor, who revealed that he is planning more vaccine events at schools.
“We love the fact that parents have decided this is a great place to get their kids vaccinated, so we’ll be doing more with our schools,” he said. “This is a time to focus even more intensely on vaccination, of course, for the youngest New Yorkers.”
As for adults, de Blasio reported that 87 percent of adult residents of New York City have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. He attributed the number to “mandates, incentives,” and other public health measures his administration put in place.
In mid-August, New York City’s government started requiring a wide range of venues to check patrons’ and employees’ vaccination status. Under the vaccine passport rules, only proof of COVID-19 vaccination will grant access to services at indoor venues, including restaurants, gyms, clubs, museums, and movie theaters.
De Blasio on Monday also encouraged people who received the COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago to get their booster shot.
“Don’t hesitate. Go out there and get it done. It’s part of protecting yourself and your family,” he said, adding that 620,000 New Yorkers have already received the booster.
City Hall so far remains hesitant to mandate the vaccine for students, although it has already required public school teachers and school staff to be vaccinated. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, however, said last month that the option to make the vaccine mandatory for students across the state remains on the table.