New Yorkers 16+ now vaccine eligible

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: April 06, 2021 05:58 AM
Created: April 05, 2021 07:07 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Starting Tuesday, anyone over the age of 16 now qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in New York. There is heightened attention being paid to the increased positivity rate among young people.  

News10NBC talked to infectious disease experts who say the only concern about this new eligibility is not getting it.  

Infection rates in teens and 20 somethings have been spiking as of late, so moving quickly from 50 plus to 30 plus, and now 16 plus, couldn't have come at a better time.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds with their parent's permission can register to get their first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine. Golisano Children's Hospital's Dr. Elizabeth Murray says it's not only about protecting the younger generation.  

"Vaccinating the whole population will help keep the old population safe as well. So teenagers out there, they want to live their lives, they want to be with friends, and getting them vaccinated is a huge part in that step forward to getting back to regular teenager life," Murray said.

The doctor says the risk of spread remains high for teenagers especially for those headed for colleges in different states, and cities later this year.

"Even if teenagers and kids don't necessarily get as sick certainly the potential exists to get sick and that not a great risk to take when it comes to your child's health, but then the other issue is that anytime we have the disease transmitted to another person we risk the development of additional variants or mutations within the germ," Murray said.

Rochester Regional Health Pediatric Infectious Disease expert Dr. Cynthia Christy says many teens may feel that they're invincible, and may not want the vaccine. She offered this advice.

"Even if they personally don't feel that they are at risk they should think about their parents, and their grandparents, and other people who would probably have risk factors to get more ill," Christy said.

Monroe County is encouraging people to sign up for the Convention Center, or some newly announced clinics for targeted ZIP codes in the city.

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