Hochul launches ‘Vax to School’ plan to get kids vaccinated

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NEW YORK (WHEC) — At a press conference in Brooklyn Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced details on her statewide “Vax to School” plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID-19.

It involved 120 new pop-up vaccine sites across the state over the next 12 weeks. It also involves new mobile vaccination vans traveling to schools and school-centric places like basketball courts and parks. The governor plans to target areas with low vaccination rates.

"We’re gonna bring pop-ups. We’ll make it so easy on you. And that’s what you see behind me," said Governor Hochul standing in front of a mobile vaccination van.

She was joined by Brooklyn lawmakers like senator Roxanne Persaud.

"I thank the schools for allowing us to bring the mobile sites to their facility so that parents when they bring their kids to school, they come right into the van to have their kids have a vaccine," said Persaud.

The governor cited rising case numbers among kids and the delta variant as a reason to broaden access to the vaccine, which was authorized by the CDC for kids ages 12-18 back in May.

"This tool has been out there for months,” said Hochul. “Knowing that kids would have the summer, they’d be back in school in the fall, and there was a vulnerability created. And maybe back in May people thought well the virus is almost over, my child doesn’t need it, we’re gonna get through this. And then the delta variant just skyrocketed."

In Monroe County, there have been 1,222 new reported cased over the last week, with about 30% of them in people under the age of 19.

Wayne County reported Tuesday that there have been 33 new cases since Monday, with 51% of them in children.

"We as parents cannot do anything to endanger our children,” said Hochul. “Keeping them unvaccinated during a global pandemic — which is not over yet, my friends — is something I can’t comprehend as a parent.”

Parents will still need to complete a consent form for kids between 12 and 17 to get vaccinated. Each mobile vaccination van will be staffed by a medical professional.

View the state’s new “Vax to School” website here.