At a Wednesday morning press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that children ages 5 to 11 would be eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday pending final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The mayor confirmed that Washington was on track to approve vaccines for children younger than 12 and that the city-run sites would be up and running by Nov. 4 adding that other sites around the city are not far behind in administering vaccinations.
“There’s one more piece I’m waiting for from the CDC but it looks quite certain and so we’re preparing,” de Blasio said. “Tomorrow is going to be a historic day for the city in our fight against COVID as we reach our youngest New Yorkers.”
De Blasio also confirmed that there would be a day when each of the New York City public schools would provide vaccines for students during school hours with a parent or guardian present or with written or verbal consent.
School vaccinations would take place at 1,070 schools beginning on Monday, Nov. 8 until Monday, Nov. 15.
“We want to make it available and easy for parents who prefer just to go to their local school building. So every school will have one day that’s their vaccination day, easy, convenient, free as always,” de Blasio said.
According to Dr. Dave Chokshi, the nation’s leading scientists strongly recommended that children ages 5 to 11 should receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“If we were to vaccinate every New Yorker aged 5 to 11, it’s estimated that we would prevent over 38,000 cases of COVID-19 just in New York City,” Chokshi said.
In regards to side effects, Chokshi said that children could expect to feel milder symptoms of arm pain, fatigue, headaches and body aches following the vaccine when compared to their adult counterparts.
“The bottom line is for us to focus on the fact that the benefits of vaccination are so strong and significantly outweigh any small risks or side effects.
According to city indicators, 86 percent of adults and 78 percent of young people ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In total there have been approximately 12,099,996 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered to date.