New York City public school students 12 years old and up can get vaccinated in school during first week of classes

Mayor Bill de Blasio joins Schools Chancellor Porter and Health Commissioner Dr. Chokshi to visit the Bronx Summer Rising Vaccination Site at Lehman High School to observe student vaccinations during City Hall In Your Borough on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Public school students 12 years of age and older can get inoculated against COVID-19 during the school day for a short time later this month.

The New York City Department of Education will set up vaccination sites within school buildings serving vaccine-eligible students, or kids between the ages of 12 and 17, which will administer first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine during the first week of classes which begins on Sept. 13.

“This year we have a powerful source of protection that we did not have last year; vaccinations,” said Chancellor Porter who broke the news about the school-based vaccination sites during a City Council oversight hearing on the fall’s full school reopening on Wednesday. “These incredibly safe and effective vaccines will do so much to keep our school communities safe.”

“Vaccinations have proven to significantly reduce the health effects of COVID-19 and reduce the transmissibility of the disease,” said a DOE spokesperson. “They are our passport out of this pandemic.

About 700 school sites will have health care workers administering the vaccine and students interested in getting the shot will need to get their parents or guardian’s approval and return a parental consent form to school administrators, according to the DOE. Individual schools will be releasing further guidance on who students can submit consent forms in the coming days, a department spokesperson said in an email to amNewYork Metro.

School staff and students’ family members can also receive a dose of the vaccine at each site which will only be offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is the only inoculation the  Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval for people 16 years old and up and has given an emergency use authorization for its use on children between the ages of 12 and 15.

The FDA has only granted emergency use authorizations to the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

School-based vaccination sites will not be open to the general public and health care workers will return to schools the week of Oct. 4 to administer second doses.

So far, about 60% of New York City’s vaccine-eligible children, or 310,183 kids, have gotten at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech, according to City officials. It is unclear though how many of those children are public school students.

“Vaccinations have proven to significantly reduce the health effects of COVID-19 and reduce the transmissibility of the disease,” said a DOE spokesperson. “They are our passport out of this pandemic.

All DOE staff are required to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 27.

This story appears courtesy of our sister publication amNewYork.

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