NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York officials are pushing forward on the plan to vaccinate children against COVID-19 once they are approved for ages 5-11, and Governor Kathy Hochul wants schools to become alternate vaccination sites due to fears of an impending rush on pediatricians.
Roughly 1.5 million children in the state will be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, with approval expected by early November.
Hochul says mass vaccination sites are also being considered because that's where parents are going to feel most comfortable taking their children, but she says schools are the next best safe place.
The governor says the state can up with the parental permission slip for parents, and she's encouraging parents to make appointments now for early to mid November.
"Schools, I believe, are the answer," she said. "We are aggressively right now connecting schools with partners. We are getting ready for this. I want the schools to know we are here to help. We are already in conversation with superintendents. We want this offered in schools or at least the immediate vicinity of schools."
Hochul is also warning that we are heading into a vulnerable time and not to get complacent.
Meanwhile, a new report from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer analyzed the impact of remote work on sales tax revenue and found the city is losing around $111 million annually.
As work from home becomes more routine in the aftermath of the pandemic, city retailers will be impacted by reduced spending by commuters -- roughly one million of whom came into the city each day prior to the pandemic, but many of whom are likely to do so on a less frequent basis going forward.
"Our analysis shows that the pandemic has fundamentally altered the way people work, with far reaching implications on the city's economy and tax base," Stringer said. "As remote work and hybrid work schedules keep many workers closer to home, small businesses in residential districts may see a boost from New Yorkers spending more in their neighborhoods. However, the loss of foot traffic and lower sales may be severely felt by small businesses in the city's commercial districts."
Stringer said steps must be taken to support small businesses.
"We must ensure that all our small businesses get the support they need in this economy," he said. "That means cutting red tape and making government more user-friendly, helping immigrant entrepreneurs scale up to new markets, and closing the digital divide so that brick-and-mortar small businesses can effectively compete with larger online retailers."
CLICK HERE to read the full report.
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