Nov. 3, 2021 By Allie Griffin
New York City will be ready to vaccinate children five to 11 years old for COVID-19 at city-run sites starting Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
Children as young as five will be able to get a pediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine at city-run sites beginning Nov. 4. The announcement comes one day after the FDA and CDC approved the shot for youngsters under 12.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a historic day for the city in our fight against COVID as we reach our youngest New Yorkers,” de Blasio said during a press conference. “So, city-run sites will be up and running, ready to go.”
The city will also utilize school buildings to get the shot into more children’s arms. Starting Monday, Nov. 8, each public school that serves children five- to 11-years-old will host a one-day vaccination drive on campus.
“Every school will have one day that’s their vaccination day – easy, convenient, free, as always,” de Blasio said.
The drives will be held in schools across the five boroughs on a rolling basis, de Blasio said.
A parent or guardian must provide consent in order for a child to be vaccinated.
Children under age 12 will receive a lower dose of the Pfizer vaccine than adults—with a smaller needle. Like adults, they will need to get two doses approximately three weeks apart.
City health officials said that children generally face milder side effects from vaccinations than adults—if any at all.
“In general, children bounce back much faster than adults,” said Dr. Mitch Katz, president of city’s public hospital system. “And I think the side effects that we will see will be very minimal and probably, for most kids, just be a little bit of pain in the arm and a few tears during the time of getting the shot.”
While children have been less vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infection, there have been more than 8,300 coronavirus-related hospitalizations of kids five- to 11-years-old — with a third requiring intensive care in the U.S., the Associated Press reported, citing government data.
The CDC has also recorded at least 94 fatalities related to COVID-19 in the same age group.
To make an appointment at a city-run vaccine site, visit vaccinefinder.nyc.gov. Only sites that offer the Pfizer vaccine can administer shots to children 11 and younger.
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have yet to get approval for usage in kids.