New York City Public Schools will administer COVID-19 vaccinations to elementary students at one-day vaccine clinics at school sites starting next week, following federal approval of the vaccine for 5-to-11-year-old students, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday.
All students five and older can receive the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for free at 1,070 school sites across the city starting Monday, Nov. 8. City-run vaccination sites in the city will begin vaccinating 5-to-11-year-olds starting Thursday.
“In each of our schools that has kids in that 5-to-11-year-old range, we are going to have a day for each school when vaccination is provided at the school building itself. That will start next week, and we will carry it over into the following Monday,” de Blasio said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Parents must accompany their children or provide verbal consent through the phone, de Blasio said Wednesday.
Vaccinated students will also be eligible for a $100 incentive if they get the shot from a city-run or school site, de Blasio said during a press conference Thursday.
“We really want kids to take advantage, families to take advantage of that,” de Blasio said. “Everyone could use a little bit more money around the holidays.”
On Tuesday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel unanimously voted to recommend Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 5-to-11-year-old children in the U.S. Following CDC director Rochelle Walensky’s final approval the same say, Wolensky said 28 million children in the U.S. are now eligible to get the vaccine.
“Parents: I know you’re eager to get your child vaccinated against #COVID19,” Walensky tweeted. “The distribution of the vaccine started this week & will be available at full capacity next week. I encourage parents to talk to your pediatrician about the importance of getting your child vaccinated.”
Maud Maron, an Independent candidate for the NYC City Council, said the move to vaccinate kids 5-11-years old “feels like groundhog day.”
“Teens were promised a return to normalcy if they were vaccinated,” Maron said. “Middle & High school kids are masked in class, limited in sports participation and cut off from normal school experiences like dances and plays.”
“Parents who want to vaccinate young kids have that option now,” Maron added. “But anyone who vaccinates their elementary school child because they think it will restore normalcy has not been paying attention.”
Maron has been vocal in the city’s debate surrounding unmasking children and reopening schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
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