NASSAU COUNTY, Long Island (WABC) -- There's a new push to get every eligible student age 12 and up vaccinated before the new school year on Long Island.
As the vaccination efforts increase for Nassau County students, the CDC director suggested Tuesday that it may not be enough and in rare instances, vaccinated people can still get breakthrough infections and spread the Delta variant.
The CDC now recommends that all students, teachers, staff and visitors wear masks in schools -- regardless of vaccination status.
With so many twists and turns during the pandemic, young people and their parents aren't sure what to expect next.
But much will depend on where you live and what the levels are.
Across Long Island, it is a bone of contention. Several students and parents held a protest on Tuesday against the mask policy.
Last month a 10th-grader described the joy after her district allowed students to shed their masks -- temporarily.
"I saw life everywhere..my teachers, like I can finally see all of the emotion," said Alexa Blejec.
"Things like masks, they feed the isolation, the feeling of disconnection -- there's been an incredible surge of depression, children self-harming," said Maria Sanders with N.O.I.S.E Campaign.
But with those rising concerns about mental health, there are other concerns about physical health. And a year's worth of data suggests that masks do work.
"So I just feel like if it's something that you have to wear a mask, then so be it, let's just get past this," said New Hyde Park parent Jeannette Diaz.
Meanwhile, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced upcoming student vaccination days with Northwell Health at the Kennedy Park pod in Hempstead.
"To continue to defeat this pandemic, we need as many people as possible to roll up their sleeves - especially young people. As County Executive, one of my main priorities has been keeping our economy and our schools open. We have made great progress fighting this virus, but the vaccine is our pathway to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and keep our County fully open. That is why we are encouraging our young people to get vaccinated with special upcoming student vaccination days in partnership with Northwell Health," Curran said.
Nassau County has one of the highest rates of vaccination across demographic groups. The county continues to over-perform state and national vaccination rates among adults, youth, seniors (65+), as well as among Black and Latino residents.
Officials say 81% of adults are vaccinated and 96% of seniors are vaccinated.
The county's "Student Days" in partnership with Northwell Health will use Pfizer vaccines and residents ages 12 and up will be eligible.
The five-day vaccination event runs from July 27 to July 31.
- 7/27-Tuesday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- 7/28-Wednesday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- 7-29 Thursday 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.
- 7/30-Friday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
- 7/31-Saturday 9 a.m - 4 p.m.
Appointments can be made online. Walk ins will be accepted. Kennedy Park is located at 335 Greenwich St, Hempstead, NY 11550.
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