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Sites support state's goal to increase statewide vaccination rates among 12- to 17-year-olds
√ New website at ny.gov/vaxtoschool for parents and guardians with ready-made resources for schools and localities hosting #VaxtoSchool events
√ #VaxtoSchool pop-up sites to open in areas with low COVID-19 vaccination rates among 12- to 17-year-olds; #VaxtoSchool vans to provide mobile vaccinations
Gov. Kathy Hochul 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 work with localities, community-based organizations and health care centers on-the-ground to establish these new sites in all regions of the state, supporting the goal of significantly increasing vaccination rates among this demographic. In partnership with the state, each region will host 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," 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."
The state launched the multifaceted statewide #VaxtoSchool campaign to support increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates among school-aged New Yorkers.
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, Hochul recently announced the launch of a new, dedicated website at ny.gov/vaxtoschool with 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 #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, Hochul’s team said, “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. Parents and guardians of school-aged children can also visit vaccines.gov, text a ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a vaccine location nearby.
The Department of Health website has more information on recommended childhood and adolescent immunizations.