Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the launch of a new website, clinical guidance and additional information and resources in the effort to vaccinate New York State’s 5-11-year-old children against COVID-19. The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in the United States and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as New York State’s Clinical Advisory Task Force, is already being administered by providers in the state.
“This is the moment all of us have been waiting for, the opportunity to protect more of our children from this dangerous virus,” Governor Hochul said. “As we head into the holiday season, I urge all parents and guardians to reach out to their pediatricians and family physicians to get their 5 – 11 year-olds vaccinated against COVID-19. We finally have this vaccine available to help keep our children, as well as our loved ones, safe and healthy, and it is critical that we take advantage of it.”
The New York State Clinical Advisory Task Force endorsed CDC’s statement and official recommendations this week, commending the thorough and transparent process of our nation’s federal health agencies in delivering a safe and effective vaccine for children. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine—with 1/3 of the dosage than is given to adolescents and adults—was found to be 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 through 11 years of age.
Dr. Emily Lutterloh, Director of Epidemiology at the New York State Department of Health said, “As a parent of two children in the 5-11 age group, I’m relieved that this life-saving vaccine is now available to them. New York parents and guardians can rest assured that the vaccine is safe, effective and recommended by the best health and medical experts in our nation and state. The Department of Health has been working hard to make sure New York State’s pediatricians and providers are ready to do what they do best as doses arrive: vaccinate our kids to keep them protected, healthy and safe.”
The state’s vast network of pediatricians, family physicians, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers and pharmacies stands ready to vaccinate this newly eligible group, and the Department continues to enroll hundreds more pediatricians and other pediatric healthcare providers across the state – ensuring the vaccine is free, readily available and accessible to all of New York’s children. Clinical guidance has been issued by the Department of Health to healthcare providers.
As part of these efforts, this comprehensive program includes a robust education campaign that builds upon the #GetTheVaxFacts campaign launched last week. The new website for parents and guardians includes new information, frequently asked questions and answers, and resources specifically designed for parents and guardians of this age group.
New Yorkers looking to schedule vaccine appointments for 5-11 year-old children are encouraged to 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 for this age group. Parents and guardians can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. Make sure that the provider offers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the other COVID-19 vaccines are not yet authorized for this age group. At this time, New York State’s mass vaccination sites are currently being utilized for people aged 12 and older, while our #VaxToSchool pop-ups are focused on 12- to 17-year-olds. Additional programming and events focused on 5 – 11-year-olds will be announced soon.