| Photo by Ed Us on Unsplash
NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor David C. Banks and the Department of Education (DOE) kicked off its vaccination campaign for students ages 5-11 across the city today, March 10. The DOE has partnered with New York City Health Department and NYC Health + Hospitals/NYC Test & Trace Corps in undertaking this campaign.
“Vaccination continues to be our key to keeping COVID-19 numbers low and protecting our loved ones from serious illness,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “I am grateful for the work being done by the Department of Education, the New York City Health Department, and Test & Trace to ensure that our youngest New Yorkers and their families are protected against this virus, and I encourage every parent to get their child vaccinated.”
Officials believe that vaccination is the best tool it has to fight COVID-19 and keep schools safe. They will roll out vaccination pop-up sites at schools for students aged 5-11 in areas where student vaccination is the lowest. First dose pop-ups will be held at 20 schools per week, over three weeks beginning on March 21. The city agencies involved in the campaign will inform parents and families through a Principal letter informing them if a vaccine pop-up is being held at their school, along with specific details.
“The health and safety of our students and school communities continues to be our top priority,” said Chancellor David C. Banks. “Thanks to the efforts of so many families to get their children vaccinated, our schools remain some of the safest places to be during the pandemic. I’m excited to kick off this campaign and expand access to vaccines and information to even more students and families.”
Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi also urged parents to vaccinate their eligible children against COVID-19. “This new campaign will increase vaccine access and information to school communities, providing crucial resources to families as we work to keep children healthy and in the classroom,” he said.
The campaign will include a range of outreach efforts to reach families where they are, providing necessary resources and supports as they take this essential step in keeping our schools and communities safe. As part of this outreach campaign:
- Robo-calls will be sent out to every school community once a week for three weeks;
- Fliers are being sent to every school; and
- Essential information on vaccines is being shared with families on all parent-facing communications.
Also, as part of this campaign, the DOE will be launching a series of COVID-19 town halls, where parents and families will have the opportunity to learn more about the COVID vaccine. Citywide town halls will take place on March 14 and March 16 at 6 p.m. Families should register in advance for one of the town hall sessions, which will both cover the same content and be held via Zoom; translations will be provided via the call-in numbers shown in each registration link:
- March 14, from 6:00–7:30 p.m.; register here for the March 14 town hall session, held in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic. Dial-in details specific to each language are available via the registration link.
- March 16, from 6:00–7:30 p.m.; register here for the March 16 town hall session, held in English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Bangla. Dial-in details specific to each language are available via the registration link.
As a reminder, families with children who are eligible but not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 can make an appointment for vaccination at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call 311 to find a vaccine site. The vaccine is free for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or insurance status.
“Test & Trace is proud to support our schools, which have proven to be the healthiest and safest place for our students to be,” said Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health at New York City Health + Hospitals and NYC Test & Trace Corps Executive Director Dr. Ted Long. “This campaign will ensure the City’s youngest school-age children are protected so they can continue to enjoy a successful school year in the classroom together.”
– With Jay Domingo/PDM