Hochul: NY parents should get children ‘vaccinated immediately,’ or she may consider requiring it for school

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NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Gov. Kathy Hochul said adding the coronavirus vaccine to the list of required immunizations for students to attend school “is certainly an option,” but first she hopes parents will make the decision on their own.

“I want to encourage parents to understand the science, the data that should lead them to the same conclusion we all have,” Hochul said at a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, “that this is the best thing you can do for your child.”

Hochul shared state data that shows only about of New York’s children, of age, vaccinated.

She said 45.3% of children, ages 12-15, are fully vaccinated and 56.8% of students ages 16-25 years old are vaccinated

“I’m calling on parents,” said Hochul. “I’m calling on anyone who can influence this process to say: ‘Please. If you want to be sure you’re children are safe, not just in the classroom, but out there playing sports, out their in the community, socializing with their friends, only 50 percent is not where it needs to be.'”

At her briefing, Hochul announced her “Vax To School” campaign, which will promote the vaccine on social media, offer parents resources for getting their children vaccinated and recruit schools and communities to host targeted vaccine clinics to improve the participation rate.

Hochul says if the number doesn’t improve, she’ll take more dramatic action.

“I will take more actions if necessary,” she said. “Right now, I’m asking parents to do what’s absolutely best for their children. If they’re between the ages of 12 and 17, get them vaccinated immediately.”

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