ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) – New York State has launched a new website that provides guidance and additional resources in the effort to vaccinate children ages five to 11 against COVID-19.
The State’s Clinical Advisory Task Force has accepted the recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after the federal agency greenlit the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccine. The smaller doses for children are already be 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 years-old 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 vaccine for children younger than 12 is made by Pfizer, and uses 1/3 of the dosage than what’s given to adolescents and adults. Experts found it was 90.7% effective in preventing COVID-19 in children ages five through 11.
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.”
Doctors, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health centers and pharmacies have started receiving doses to vaccinate newly eligible children. The state Department of Health has also issued clinical guidance to healthcare providers.
Families looking to schedule vaccine appointments for their children are encouraged to contact their pediatrician, family physician, county health department, FQHCs, rural health centers or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine.
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.