Youth movement: NYC to administer COVID-19 shots in select schools this Friday

Children receive Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New Hyde Park, New York
Thomas Lo (15) receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., May 13, 2021.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Looking to get more young New Yorkers vaccinated, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that the city would begin distributing the shots in public schools across the five boroughs.

Starting this Friday, June 4, four schools in the Bronx will initiate the rollout of in-school vaccination sites. Over the coming weeks, selected schools in all five boroughs will also offer vaccines for students.

“This is going to be a way to reach a lot of young people quickly,” said de Blasio, “and to encourage parents to understand how incredible it is, what a great feeling it is, to know your child is safe.”

Manhattan City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the Council’s Health Committee, said that this will make vaccinations more accessible, especially for families who aren’t able to take their kids to a vaccination site after school. 

“If we bring vaccination to them, in their school buildings, that’s a game changer,” said Levine. “It’s a great venue to expand vaccination options for young people.”

Levine mentioned that schools are in a great position to act as a vaccination site because they already have student records, can easily obtain parental/guardian consent and have trusting relationships with the families. 

Bronx City Councilman Eric Dinowitz, and a former teacher, said that this trust between schools and families will really make a difference for vaccine-hesitant parents. 

“Families and children trust their teachers, they trust the administration, they trust their school staff,” said Dinowitz. “This is an important step in ensuring the safety of our children and families and opening for full-time in-person support.”

De Blasio also announced that starting Wednesday, the Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the New York Aquarium for kids ages 12 and up. Those who participate will get a free ticket to the aquarium for a future visit. 

Youth vaccination block parties will also be held across the city from June 1-7. Doctors and public health officials will be on-site to answer any questions about the vaccine. There will also be family activities, food and music. 

To find a vaccination site near you nyc.gov/vaccinefinder or call 877-VAX-4NYC to arrange free round trip transportation to a site near you.