Updated: September 08, 2021 05:27 PM
Created: September 08, 2021 02:53 PM
NEW YORK CITY (WHEC) — Citing concerns over the vaccination rate among eligible school-aged children, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new public education initiative Wednesday.
The program, called #VaxtoSchool Safely will involve a combination of state-funded digital marketing and resources for schools and localities to host vaccination events.
Only about half of 12 to 17-year-olds statewide have been fully vaccinated, according to the state database.
During the Wednesday media briefing, the Governor recapped many of the statewide initiatives in place for schools, businesses and healthcare.
When asked if she would ever consider mandating children to be vaccinated, as they are for certain other illnesses, Hochul said it's a potential option, but the focus now is on education and hoping parents will do what's best for their children.
"I am willing to take a look at all options on the table," Hochul said. "Because if these numbers start going up again and we have to figure out a way to contain that or we're going to end up talking about what happens to school settings or workplaces again, I'm not letting the state go back there again. So I will take more actions if necessary. Right now I'm asking parents to do what's absolute best for their children."
Hochul also presented some fresh numbers on so-called "breakthrough" cases, reporting that 0.5% of fully-vaccinated New Yorkers have contracted COVID.
The governor said she's ready to offer any help local communities need to get more people vaccinated, including bringing back mass vaccination sites if they need them to get the job done.
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