NY prepares COVID vaccine rollout for kids

Local News

NEW YORK — Kids age 5 to 11 could soon get the Pfizer COVID vaccine in New York.

The state has begun preparations to make sure there are enough doses for kids in that age group, Gov. Kathy Hochul said. She was excited by the Tuesday FDA advisory panel vote endorsing kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“The next step is for the CDC to meet and give guidance from there, but it’s imminent,” Gov. Hochul said. “It is extremely exciting. We will have 380,000 doses of pediatric vaccines ready, and this is just the first order. We will have enough for everyone.”

Pharmacies will get additional doses and school districts plan to hold vaccination events, she said.

Hochul announced 23 new pop-up vaccination sites to increase vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers.

As of Oct. 26, 63.6 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds and 72.9 percent of 16 to 25-year-olds have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the state.

New York City could begin offering COVID-19 vaccines for children as early as next week, as long as federal regulators grant emergency authorization, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday.

“As you’re going to hear from the doctors, we’re looking at late next week or the week after, and that’s fantastic,” he said. “We’re getting ready and excited, and I think there’s going to be a whole lot of energy among parents to bring their younger kids in.”

The mayor said vaccination sites across the city are prepared and he’s considering what role schools will play as well.

“We have a lot of sites ready as always, and we’re certainly going to consider what we need to do in our schools as well. But we may be starting this on a weekend, depending on the details,” he said.

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