NYC Mayor Pledges A Teen Vaccination Blitz Before Fall

New York City will be rolling out pop-up vaccination sites at public schools participating in Summer Rising, the newly expanded summer school program, beginning on Monday.

“We are right now starting the first wave of the blitz leading up to the beginning of school,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday’s edition of the Brian Lehrer Show.

The new sites will be open to students, staff, parents, and neighbors. Children are required to have verbal consent from a parent or guardian, either in-person or over the phone, and these adults have to accompany kids ages 12 to 15. De Blasio said 25 schools will offer vaccinations on a rolling basis through mid-August.

The city began offering vaccines at schools in June, just a month before summer break, and has held block parties with food and music to make getting a shot more accessible and fun for young people. De Blasio broke news by adding that 43% of youth ages 12 to 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The rate for all minors is 13% in New York City, given the shots aren’t available for non-adolescents. The education department said in a separate statement that about 60% of school staff have received at least one dose.

While the mayor said the pop-up sites are part of a broad push to get kids vaccinated before classes resume on September 13th, a mandate for New York City’s K-12 public schools is unlikely. The state determines vaccine requirements for students, and Governor Cuomo has indicated he won’t try a childhood mandate while the shots are still under emergency use authorization, although he has said he will require them at state universities. De Blasio has said repeatedly that he does not see the need to require vaccinations for public school students because transmission within city schools has been extremely low.

The state does not have any vaccine requirements for grade school staff.

The first five school-based vaccination sites launching next week will be at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx, Susan E, Wagner High School in Staten Island, Long Island City High School in Queens, and the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in Manhattan.