Governor Hochul encouraging parents to get ready for child vaccinations

NEW YORK CITY (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul used a good portion of her weekly COVID-19 briefing Tuesday talking about planning the vaccination of children aged five to 11.

The approval of the Pfizer vaccine is expected sometime in November. Hochul encouraged parents to make appointments now with their pediatricians. She also says she’ll be working with schools to do vaccinations on-site with parental permission.

That would make an additional 1.5 million New York children eligible for the vaccine.

"You don’t want to hear the first appointment available is in February when you want your child to have that shot as soon as possible," Hochul said. "So I would encourage parents to start making appointments with their pediatricians knowing that this is going to be coming out early to mid-November."

Hochul said the state will open mass vaccination sites, where they are needed. But right now, she’s focused on making sure pediatricians have the staff and supplies they’ll need.

"I anticipate as a mom who took my kids to doctor appointments and well visits and vaccines for many years that there could be a crush of interest in this, which is good. But I want to make sure the doctor’s offices, where I think the majority of those parents will get the vaccines, are ready for this," Hochul said.

Hochul said the State is also taking to pharmacies, urgent care centers and school districts to make sure they’re ready too.

Hochul thinks most parents will take their children to their pediatrician to get the shot, but she believes schools are going to play a major part in getting everyone vaccinated.

"We are getting ready for this but I want the schools to know that we’re here to help. We’re already in conversation with the school superintendents letting them know we want this offered in schools or at least in the immediate vicinity of schools," Hochul said.

As for older children, the Governor reported that 68.7% of 12 to 17-year-olds now have at least one dose of the vaccine.

"I think we can do a little better there as well. I’m going to continue my weekly call to parents, protect your kids. You do not want your child ending up with COVID," Hochul said.

The governor also shared a new website that contains all the state’s data, instead of several separate sites.

Watch the full press conference in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):