As part of a “blitz” to get more young New Yorkers vaccinated ahead of the start of the school year, eligible children and adults will be able to get vaccinated at 25 Summer Rising sites beginning next week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.
“We are right now starting the first wave of the blitz leading up to the beginning of school…we’re going to really intensely go into a focus on our young people,” de Blasio said during an interview on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”
Pop-up vaccination sites will be set up outside of a Summer Rising locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Monday and will stay until Friday, August 13. Only children 12 and older are eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine. And children 15 years old or younger will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to get the shot while 16 and 17-year-olds do not need an adult present at the time of their vaccination but their parents will need to give verbal consent over the phone.
Each pop-vaccination site will have enough doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate 50 people a day, according to a Department of Education spokesperson, with the department willing to add staff to each site to increase capacity if needed.
As new cases of the COVID Delta variant continue to rise, de Blasio ordered all New York City public hospital health workers be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. According to CEO of NYC Health and Hospitals Mitchell Katz, 60% of the city public hospital system’s staff has been vaccinated against the virus.
On Friday, de Blasio encouraged all private employers across the five boroughs to issue some sort of vaccine mandate among their employees in order to boost the city’s overall vaccination rate. So far, 53% of New York City residents are vaccinated against the virus.
The vaccination rate among children in the city falls nine percentage points below the citywide rate—at 44%—with over 226,200 vaccine eligible kids having gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, according to City data. About 60% of DOE employees have at least one dose of the vaccine as well.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends promoting vaccination in order to help school safely return to in-person learning this fall. In a surprise change of tone, the CDC updated its COVID-19 school guidance to stress a return to in-person learning as a “priority.” Under the guidelines, students and staff who are not vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors and student should maintain three feet of distance from one another in the classroom. But the guideline add that school should disregard the social distance recommendation if it keeping it would impede their ability to fully reopen.
“Every single fully vaccinated person is a step towards making our City whole again and we’re excited to work with our health care partners to make vaccinations easily available to eligible students, parents and community members,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter in a statement. “We encourage all families to get their 12 to 17-year-old their first dose by August 9 at our fun Summer Rising locations across the city so they are fully vaccinated by the start of the new school year.”
The sites offering COVID-19 vaccines next week are the following:
- Monday & Tuesday: Fort Hamilton High School – Brooklyn
- Tuesday & Wednesday: Herbert H Lehman High School –Bronx
- Wednesday & Thursday: Susan E Wagner High School – Staten Island
- Thursday & Friday: Long Island City High School – Queens
- Thursday & Friday: Health Professions High School – Manhattan
Note: This article was updated July 23, 2021 at 7:53 p.m. with data from the DOE on the number of inoculations each vaccination site can offer.