12- to 15-year-olds in New York could get vaccinated as early as Thursday: Cuomo

Coronavirus Update for New York
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that vaccinations for 12- to 15-year-olds in New York could begin as early as Thursday.

The news comes after the FDA expanded emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for those 12 to 15 Monday night.

"Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to include people ages 12 to 15," Cuomo said. "This is an encouraging step in the ongoing battle against this global pandemic."

Cuomo says the state will use science and data to determine the safest path forward for New Yorkers.

"Tomorrow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), will meet publicly to review data and discuss whether to recommend the vaccine for this age group to the CDC director," he said. "Following that review, Dr. Howard Zucker will meet with our Clinical Advisory Task Force and make a final recommendation, which means we could have full authorization for vaccinations to begin for 12 to 15 year olds here in New York as early as Thursday."

With the Pfizer COVID vaccine set to be injected into adolescents, the question now is how many of them and their parents are going to be willing to take it.

A study conducted over the past several months, including 2,200 12 to 15-year-olds, proved to be 100% effective, and now a CDC advisory committee is expected to meet Wednesday.

By Thursday, those as young a 12 could receive the vaccine.

Mayor Bill de Blasio now says city students will not be required to get the vaccine.

"Talked about it with the health team, we just don't really think it's the right way to go at this moment," the mayor said. "We will watch, always, always be led by the data and science, but right now we are seeing extraordinary success and we expect that success to be sustained."

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