Coronavirus Update New York City: City won't require kids to get COVID vaccine

Coronavirus update for NYC

Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Should children be required to get the COVID vaccine?
Sandra Bookman says NYC says no, but other officials say not so fast

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Pfizer vaccine is set to be injected as soon as Thursday into adolescents. The question now is how many of them and their parents are going to be willing to take it.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that there are no plans for a vaccine requirement for teachers and students in public schools, despite a similar SUNY and CUNY requirement.

"I think it's good for people to get the vaccine. We got to protect people but I'm not in a rush to get it," one teen said.

The FDA expanded emergency use authorization to people for those 12-to-15 Monday night.

They approved it after 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 as 12 could receive the vaccine.

De Blasio said that New York City students will not be required to get the vaccine.

"We talked about it with the health team, we just don't really think it's the right way to go at this moment. 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," Mayor de Blasio said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state cannot mandate students take the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds until it receives full federal approval, which "could take months."

But if the full approval comes before the start of the school year, Cuomo said "it is going to be a legitimate topic of discussion, I can tell you that."

Reluctance and hesitance among many is why politicians are now working to motivate those who haven't received their shots.

"Today we are announcing a free two-week membership to city bike two-week membership for free when you get vaccinated," de Blasio said.

Wednesday, the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be offered to commuters at eight different subway and commuter stations.

You can get a shot and a free seven-day Metrocard or two free LIRR or Metro-North tickets.

New York City now offering free tickets to a slew of city venues, from the Bronx Zoo to events at Lincoln Center to anyone who shows up to get a shot.

"This coming Thursday something new as well, for those who drive cars. A drive-through site at Citi Field," de Blasio said.

All of this with the hopes to get back to as close to normal as possible.

"The idea now with the vaccine there are high school kids who could start the fall and have a normal high school experience, take off their masks, do sports, engage with their friends and not have to worry, I think that's absolutely huge," said Dr. Richard Besser, Former Acting Director of the CDC, President of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Pfizer says they're expected to submit for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 2 to 11 years old in September.

It's all with the hopes of helping everyone return to the classroom safely.

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