Governor pushing to get teens vaccinated

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ALBANY – Governor Kathy Hochul Tuesday announced 120 new #VaxtoSchool pop-up vaccination sites will take place across New York over a 12-week-period as part of the #VaxtoSchool campaign to increase vaccination rates among younger New Yorkers.

Over the next 12 weeks, the State Department of Health will be working with localities, community-based organizations, and healthcare centers on the ground to establish these new sites in all regions of the state, supporting the State’s goal of significantly increasing vaccination rates among this demographic. In partnership with the State, each region will be hosting two new events per week, and partners, host sites, and outreach efforts will be tailored to best meet the needs of the communities they are built to serve.

“Since becoming Governor four weeks ago, I’ve made it clear that we need to bring children, teachers, and staff back to school safely,” Governor Hochul said. “With these pop-up vaccinations sites, we are ramping up our #VaxtoSchool campaign on the road and going into communities where vaccination rates are still lagging among young New Yorkers, so we can reach as many families as possible and make our schools safer for students and staff.”

A community-based medical professional will be available at each site to answer any questions parents and guardians of school-aged New Yorkers may have. Alongside the new sites, as yet another tool to promote and access vaccinations across New York communities, #VaxtoSchool buses—mobile vaccination efforts—are being launched in convenient, youth and school-centric areas statewide, such as public recreational spaces like basketball courts and parks. This will help to make the vaccine available and accessible to school-aged New Yorkers and their families – meeting them where they are, in a way they can trust.

As part of this effort, Governor Hochul recently announced the launch of a new, dedicated website at ny.gov/vaxtoschool with critical resources and materials for parents and guardians of school-aged New Yorkers and school communities. The new site includes information, and an FAQ for parents and guardians, as well as a multitude of ready-made signage for school leaders, to support #VaxtoSchool education and operations in their local communities on the ground. The site will continue to be updated with new information about the #VaxtoSchool campaign, including pop-up sites and incentive efforts—such as the recent partnership with Governor’s Ball, where 125 free tickets were donated as incentives to support the State’s #VaxtoSchool program.

The State has launched a new Instagram channel, @VaccinateNY, to educate school-aged New Yorkers and their families about the COVID-19 vaccine directly. The new social media page provides approachable, interactive content through easy-to-understand vaccine information, prospective content partnerships, #VaxtoSchool news and social media design contests, and quick video explainers, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in our effort to provide all New Yorkers with the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine. DOH will also amplify these digital education efforts across all of their channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Children ages 12 to 17 are able to get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is available under Emergency Use Authorization for children ages 12 to 15 and is fully approved for those age 16 and older. The other COVID-19 vaccines are not yet authorized or approved for this age group. If you are a parent or guardian of a school-aged New Yorker, you can also visit vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a vaccine location closest to you. Make sure that the provider offers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Parents are encouraged to make sure their child is up to date on all recommended and required vaccinations. Please visit the Department of Health website for more information on recommended childhood and adolescent immunizations.