ALBANY – New York’s Governor offered what she calls a “glimmer of hope” on Tuesday as she continued to push child vaccination incentives during an update on state’s COVID-19 battle.
“Yes, it is actually going downward. 48,686 positive cases yesterday, Every one is is one too many, I look forward to the day when that plummets,” says Hochul. “Right now we have an 18.6 percent statewide positivity. Watch the trend line right here and that’s our positive, the 7-day average is a little bit higher, lagging behind. Looks like we might be cresting over that peak.”
Governor Kathy Hochul continued that the rate of increase in cases is slowing down, but there is still room for improvement.
As of Monday, the 7-day average of cases per 100K population in Western New York was 251.29. Additionally, the 7-day average percentage of positive test results was 22.71 percent.
There were over 12,000 new COVID hospitalizations in the state’s latest update, while the percentage of COVID patients in hospitals went up 16 percent to 43 percent.
“The other way we can help our hospitals, as I mentioned before but let’s put an exclamation point on this, please don’t go to the emergency room to get a test. 20 percent of people in the ER, 20 percent, I ask a question. What’s happening in our ER’s? We now research, we ask questions, we press. 20 percent are there simply to get a test,” explains Hochul.
Hochul also announced a new #VaxforKids campaign to increase vaccination rates among children five and older.
“It’s safe, it’s free, and it protects even the younger siblings who are not eligible. This is important, get the older siblings vaccinated so the children who are not eligible yet, 5 and under, are protected as well,” says Hochul.
The #VaxForKids effort includes new marketing efforts to reach parents and guardians in English and Spanish. This includes advertising on television, radio, and digital – including search and streaming.
The effort comes in response to the recent increase in pediatric hospitalizations. Through December, 91 percent of 5- to 11-year-olds hospitalized due to COVID were unvaccinated.
“It doesn’t have to be that way, unnecessary, preventable, and that’s what we’re going to keep talking about to make sure we get our kids protected,” says Hochul.
As of Monday, 21.6 percent of children 5 to 11 and 65.4 percent of adolescents 12 to 17 have completed their initial vaccine series.
The program will also include vaccination pop-up sites to administer first and second doses for children five and older as well as booster and additional doses for eligible children and adolescents.