De Blasio: 20,000 New York City children ages 12-15 have received COVID-19 vaccine

A nurse Cindy Mendez wearing a protective mask holds a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 25, 2021. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

Roughly 20,000 New York City children aged 12 to 15 years old have received a COVID-19 vaccination, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday. 

“The demand was there, the focus as there, parents, kids ready to get vaccinated,” said de Blasio. The total number of vaccine doses that have been administered across the five boroughs has now reached  7,628,062, according to the City’s COVID-19 tracker website. 

Last week, the Federal Drug Administration expanded its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12 years old. Previously, only children 16 and older were eligible to receive a shot of either inoculation. 

The move is considered by officials to be a big step in the right direction in the fight against the novel coronavirus and bringing the city back to normalcy.  Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter encouraged parents during an online forum Monday night to vaccinate their now eligible children against the virus to help the City’s overall pandemic recovery adding the City does not plan on requiring students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine before returning to school buildings this fall. 

In response to questions on whether the City would administer the vaccine in schools, the mayor said it was worth investigating. Previously, the city’s top health official Dr. Dave Chokshi has hinted the DOE would play a part in vaccinations.