New program urges pediatricians, parents & guardians to ensure children 5 and older get vaccinated and keep up with all recommended vaccine doses
√ New York parents and guardians can learn more & schedule their child's free vaccine today: ny.gov/vaxforkids
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced a new campaign to increase vaccination rates among children ages 5 and older – urging pediatricians, parents and guardians to help children get vaccinated and keep up with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.
"The best protection for our kids is to ensure they get vaccinated and keep up with all recommended vaccine doses," Hochul said. "As COVID-19 continues to spread, the best armor for our children is the vaccine. It's safe, effective, free, and over a half million children in New York between 5-11 years old have already gotten their first dose so far. With the #VaxForKids campaign, we are doubling down on our efforts to get this critical message out to even more parents and guardians."
The multifaceted #VaxForKids effort includes new marketing efforts to reach parents and guardians in English and Spanish. This includes advertising on television, radio and digital – including search and streaming. As part of the program, a new PSA featuring Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett will launch statewide with a focus on reaching parents and guardians of children ages 5-11. Additional PSAs will be launched over the coming weeks.
Bassett said, "Since the emergence of the omicron variant, COVID-19 cases and even hospitalizations are rising among children. There has never been a more important time for pediatricians, parents and guardians to ensure children 5 and older get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with all recommended doses. Vaccines have been the backbone of pediatric care for decades, protecting our children against countless diseases. The COVID-19 vaccine is no different. I urge New Yorkers to make sure their children get fully vaccinated – and their third dose when eligible – so they have meaningful and continued protection against the virus."
To date, over 1.5 million children 5-17 have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Jan. 10, 32.2% of children 5-11 and 73.4% of adolescents 12-17 have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 21.6% of children 5-11 and 65.4% of adolescents 12-17 have completed their initial vaccine series.
To accompany the communications program, new #VaxForKids pop-up sites will be established in communities statewide to administer first and second doses for children 5 and older, as well as booster and additional doses for eligible children and adolescents. Locations and dates will be announced soon. Already, the state has established a dedicated hub so parents and guardians have information, resources and FAQs on the vaccine and children specifically. The Department of Health continues to actively communicate and provide guidance to pediatric providers on-the-ground and in every region across the state.
Children 5 and older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. As of Jan. 7, adolescents 12 and older are eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least five months after completing their initial vaccine series. Additionally, children 5-11 with certain immunocompromising conditions are now eligible for an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least 28 days after completing their initial vaccine series. Pediatric providers, parents and guardians can visit www.ny.gov/VaxForKids, ny.gov/Boosters and ny.gov/GetTheVaxFacts for information and resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and children and adolescents.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and widely available statewide, including at over 2,000 locations administering the vaccine for children. All state mass-vaccination sites are offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 years and older, booster doses for New Yorkers 12 years and older, and additional doses for immunocompromised children 5 years and older. Parents and guardians can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. New Yorkers can contact their child's pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine to this age group.