Another 4,500 kids between the ages of five and 11 have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a school site, officials said Tuesday.
On Monday, all New York City public school sites serving children ages five to 11 began offering the COVID-19 vaccine for students for at least one day. Officials reported a high turnout from families and that 4,500 children within the age group received their first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency use authorization for the vaccine’s use on children ages five to 11 and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that younger children could get the inoculation at city-run vaccine sites last Thursday.
Since then, almost 25,000 younger children have gotten the shot. “We expect this to grow a lot in the coming days,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This is another way we keep our city safe, and we move forward.”
Children can only get the first dose of the vaccine at a school site but health officials will work with families to schedule second-dose appointments at a vaccination site or pharmacy close to their family’s home. In order to get the shot at a school site, parents need to give verbal consent either in person or over the phone to a health care worker. Parents or guardians can also give along written consent for their child to get the shot as long as they are accompanied by a designated adult.
City officials have pledged to increase the number of days schools can offer the vaccine if demand remains high after some parents reported that schools offering the vaccine on Monday ran out of supplies.
We saw a lot of energy. We saw a lot of schools where there was great demand. Now that’s a wonderful thing. There were some places where we had to do better, and we had to get supply to them and get additional help. And we did that,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter. “There are about a dozen sites where there were lines. We sent mobile vans, vaccination vans, to those sites to make sure that people could be accommodated, but it’s also been a good signal to us that there’s more demand at those school sites than we anticipated. “
On Tuesday, the city deployed an additional 24 vaccination vans to schools where turnout for the vaccine is expected to be high.