NEW YORK - New York City is beginning to open vaccination sites at all schools that serve students aged 5 through 11. There are 400,000 children in that age range in 1,070 public schools across the city.
Demand was strong on the first day and some sites ran out of doses.
Each site will host a vaccine clinic for one day between Nov. 8 and 15. All students must have verbal consent from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.
If the parent or guardian cannot accompany the student, the student must be escorted by another adult who can reach their parent/guardian by phone to obtain verbal consent at the time of vaccination. Additionally, clinic staff will work with families to set up second dose appointments at non-school locations.
"New York City remains one step ahead in the fight against COVID-19," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. "School vaccination sites will make it as convenient as possible for our children to get life-saving protection. This is a win for families and a win for our ongoing recovery efforts."
No appointment is necessary and all locations will be serving 5- to 11-year-olds enrolled at a school in that building exclusively. Clinics will be open between either 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., depending on the location, according to city officials.
The vaccines are free and city officials say that students do not need to have health insurance or share their immigration status to get vaccinated.
At this time, the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandated for New York City public school students.
Federal regulators approved kid-sized doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The vaccine — one-third the dose given to older children and adults and administered with kid-sized needles — requires two doses three weeks apart, plus two more weeks for full protection. That means children who get vaccinated before Thanksgiving will be covered by Christmas.