NYC educators urge parents to inoculate students ahead of Monday's COVID-19 vaccination deadline
The deadline for New York City students to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine in time for the start of the school year is just days away.
Monday is the last day for students to receive their first dose of vaccine in time to be fully vaccinated for the first day of school on Sept. 13.
Carlos M. Lopez, a teacher from P.S. 30 in Hunts Point is urging parents to make an appointment for their children right away.
"Safety comes first, safety is paramount, and I'd say that as long as parents could take their children who are 12 years and older to get vaccinated, schools will be a safer place," Lopez says.
Right now, the vaccine is only available for children 12 and older and children under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The race to vaccinate is also on the minds of all Department of Education staff who must now show proof of vaccination or take a weekly test.
To ensure doses are readily available to anyone who will be returning into the classroom, vaccination sites will be open at all Saturday Night Lights locations Saturday night throughout the city, as well as 28 middle and high school Summer Rising sites.
The effort comes as the state said Friday that it's leaving health and safety guidelines and decisions up to the city and the Department of Education.
The DOE says it will require masks in schools for everyone.
However, Lopez thinks the city can still do more to make the classroom safer.
"As in other states, New York also needs a remote option so that way, all students those who are in-person and those who are at home because of health reasons, they can receive an adequate and robust education," Lopez says.
As far as the percentage of kids heading back to school who have received at least their first dose of the vaccine, city data shows that at least 15% of children under 18 have received their first dose of the vaccine and 12% are fully vaccinated.
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