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Hochul: state preparing to help vaccinate youngsters

Nurse prepares COVID-19 vaccination.
Nurse prepares COVID-19 vaccination.(Source: WMC)
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 2:32 PM EDT
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ALBANY, New York (WWNY) - New York state will push to get children as young as 5 vaccinated against COVID-19, Governor Kathy Hochul said Wednesday.

Hochul confirmed what has been widely reported - that the White House has reached out to the nation’s governors, telling them to prepare for vaccinations of children ages 5 to 11.

“This is going to be a game changer for us,” she said. “We will be more than prepared in the state of New York.”

Hochul said she planned to hold a conference call with pediatricians to discuss the rollout of the vaccine. She also said shots will be available through school districts and pharmacies.

The vaccine for children has not yet been approved, but approval from the federal government is expected in early November.

Hochul did not rule out making vaccinations for children mandatory, though she said “My default position is to trust the parents.”

“I want to go by the data, the numbers and see how effective the approach is to just encourage people and have many pediatricians make it part of a child’s check-up or part of their basic routine series of getting their vaccinations. That’s what should be happening,” she said.

But if not enough children get vaccinated, Hochul said she was open to considering a mandate.

“I’m certainly willing to look at this,” she said.

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