NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City-run vaccination centers and hospitals are now offering the pediatric dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to kids ages 5 to 11.
The city has nearly a quarter-million doses available, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said children will also be eligible for the $100 incentive when they get vaccinated at a city-run site.
The shots will be available through 1,500 pediatricians at doctor's offices in all five boroughs, and the city also plans to offer vaccinations at 1,070 school sites over the course of next week, starting Monday, November 8.
"I've been waiting for the vaccine for a long time, and I have a lot of stuff I want to do," said 10-year-old Rafik Jadwat, who received his first dose Thursday.
The pandemic has taken up nearly 20% of his lifetime, and his twin 6-year-old siblings also received their first shot.
"I am sort of overwhelmed with emotions," mom Molly Doherty said. "It's been a long road, but luckily, you know, not as difficult a road for us as many. But it feels good to be here."
In the city, 78% of kids ages 12 to 17 have been vaccinated so far, which is much higher than the state average for that age group.
"The most important effects to focus on are the fact that this brings very significant benefits to our children," Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said. "If we were to vaccinate every New Yorker aged 5 to 11, it's estimated that we would prevent over 38,000 cases of COVID-19 just in New York City."
Information about when each school will offer vaccination clinics is being sent home with students, and parents can also check the New York City Department of Education website to find out when their child's school will be hosting a clinic.
Officials expect to be at 200 different schools each day through the week, giving every child a chance to get vaccinated at school.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive a shot, though consent can also be given in writing and verbally over the phone.
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