NYC health commissioner pushes COVID vaccine for kids, stops short of mandate

PIX on Politics

NEW YORK — More than 72% of New York City children and teens who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have received at least one dose, but the city’s health commissioner said on Sunday his office is working to push that number even higher.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi joined PIX on Politics host Dan Mannarino to discuss the city’s effort to increase vaccination rates amid several contentious mandates for adults.

As the Department of Education prepares to enforce its vaccine mandate for teachers and staff on Monday, Chokshi said the requirement will add another layer of protection for students.

However, when asked whether the city would issue such a mandate for students who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the health commissioner wasn’t ready to commit.

“We’ll see if additional requirements are needed. But right now we’re actually seeing very good uptake of vaccination. We’re at over 72% of 12- to 17-year-olds in New York City who have gotten at least one dose, and we’re going to push that number still higher,” he said.

Chokshi also noted there are some vaccine requirements for students who want to participate in “high-risk” sports or other extra curricular activities.

As for the DOE mandate, Chokshi said it’s clear the COVID vaccines work and so do vaccination requirements.

“Particularly if they’re paired with easy access to vaccination; incentives; and building vaccine confidence, as we have in New York City. We bring all of these approaches to bear together, and it has increased the vaccination rate. It’s a major reason why we’re now at 5.3 million New Yorkers who are fully vaccinated,” he said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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