Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City will begin paying children between the ages of five and 11 $100 each to get their COVID-19 vaccine as parents lined up to get their kids their first shot.
Earlier this week De Blasio announced that the city would begin vaccinating children ages five to 11 at city run sites starting Thursday and in schools on Monday after the FDA approved Pfizer’s two-dose shot.
A total of 300,000 vaccine doses have been ordered in a mad dash to vaccinate kids – even as controversy rages over whether the low-risk age group should get the jab.
De Blasio announced that following Wednesday’s final authorization from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, city-run Covid vaccination sites will offer children ages 5-11 the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine.
There have been 680 pediatric, under 18, Covid related deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the CDC, representing less than 0.1 percent of Covid deaths in the country.
In a press conference on Thursday, De Blasio confirmed that children will also be eligible for the $100 vaccine bonus first announced for adults who received the vaccine from June 30: ‘Everyone could use a little more money around the holidays’ and that it ‘buys a whole lot of candy.’
The city’s COVID vaccine incentive program includes a $100 pre-paid debit card with proof of first dose.
Children were already lined up to be vaccinated on Thursday afternoon at the city-run vaccination site at Essex Crossing 244 Broome Street.
Those who spoke to DailyMail.com included 11-year old Mia Taylor and her mom Tamara Jenkins. Mia told DailyMail.com: ‘I wanted to get it – now that I have it, I feel safer.’
Jenkins was planning to get her daughter vaccinated before hearing about the $100 incentive: ‘We didn’t know about the incentive until my husband texted “we’re gonna get $100.” That’s gonna be her candy money.’
‘I can’t wait for her and her friends to be able to get together with no swabs.’
Seven-year-old immunocompromised Paulo and his dad Sokio – who did not want give a last name – also lined up for the shot.
Sokio convinced his son to get vaccinated but Paulo will be the luckily one getting $100 richer.
‘I understand the hesitancy, especially in people of color communities, But I think science is great and people are working hard to make things safer,’ Sokio told DailyMail.com.
Paulo said it hurt: ‘Kinda more than a flu shot.’ +15
Paulo, 7, and his immunocompromiseddad Sokio lined up to get the vaccine. After he got the shot at Essex Crossing 244 Broome Street, Paulo said it hurt: ‘Kinda more than a flu shot’
Ellen Hollander-Sande, a nurse practitioner, brought her six-year-old son Jonah to get vaccinated.
‘I am thrilled, I couldn’t be more excited. we’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. I’m glad its finally here and it will keep him safe and keep others safe,’ Hollander-Sande told DailyMail.com.
She’s also using her position to encourage others to get their children vaccinated.
‘We all care about our kids and we want to do what’s safe for them. I do try to talk to other parents at my work about the vaccine,’ she said.
‘It’s been given a billion times over the world – they tested kids, they tested 12 to 15. The results from the younger kids is great. I just try to talk to people about what’s concerning then and address that.’
But her son Jonah wasn’t concerned: ‘He’s been very excited to get the shot. He’s been asking about it, waiting for it’
Jonah confirmed his excitement: ‘I’ve been counting the days!’
Hollander-Sande shared: ‘Before he was just quiet, a little shy in there, but he was pretty happy, doing jumping jacks and thrilled. Two of his cousins also got the shot today, so it’s a great day.’+15
Ellen Hollander-Sande, a nurse practitioner, brought her six-year-old son Jonah to get vaccinated. ‘I’ve been counting the days!’ Jonah said
Twelve-year-old Michael Jones also got his vaccine at Essex Crossing on Thursday. He told DailyMail.com: ‘I was kind of a little excited and nervous, more excited than nervous.’
His mother, Yvette Acevedo, said: ‘Me and his dad were vaccinated but he had to wait a little bit – he was disappointed.
‘My niece has a daughter [and she is nervous to get her vaccinated] – either way, you’re taking a gamble. Might as well try.’ +15
Twelve-year-old Michael Jones also got his vaccine at Essex Crossing on Thursday. He told DailyMail.com: ‘I was kind of a little excited and nervous, more excited than nervous’
No child has been seen crying or rubbing their arm, everyone seems to be in good spirits as they get their shots.
NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi noted children have: ‘endured so much during the pandemic and now it’s their turn to have the same protection and grown-ups and teens albeit in a kid-sized dose.’
He said that the vaccine is safe and effective for children and that the city’s health department has been working with about 1,500 pediatricians and family doctors to prepare to receives an initial order of 330,000 doses for children.
Dr. Chokshi stated that CDC data shows that if every New Yorker between the ages of 5 and 11 were to get vaccinated an estimated 38,000 Covid cases could be prevented.
CDC figures show that fewer than 700 children aged 18 and under have died of COVID since recording began in March 2020, amid concerns kids are at such low risk of serious infection that potential vaccine side effects – including heart inflammation – may not be worth the risk.
Dr. Kavita Patel said: ‘For every nine New York City children that are vaccinated we’re likely to prevent one case of Covid.’
The NYC mayor then went over the city’s Covid numbers to date reporting that the big apple has administered 12,113,400 vaccinations.
He also reported that the city recorded 103 patients hospitalized for suspected Covid cases, confirmed positivity is at 15.7 percent, the hospitalization rate is at 0.53 percent per 100,000, and the number of new reported cases on a seven day average is at 579 cases. +15
Children ages five and up were seen arriving with their parents at city-run vaccination sites throughout the city on Thursday +15
Starting Monday every public school with students ages 5-11 years old will have a day for each school when vaccination is provided at the school building itself+15
NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi announced the city placed an initial order of 330,000 doses for children +15
Children, those under 18-years-old, have accounted for less than 0.1 percent of Covid deaths in the country
Still, the lame-duck mayor will provide pop-up sites at select schools Thursday before a full rollout next week.
In order for children to be vaccinated, they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian or provide written or verbal consent over the phone, the city said.
Starting Monday, every public school with students ages five to 11 years old will have a day for each school when vaccination is provided at the school building itself.
In total there will be 1,070 school vaccination sites over the the course of the week and nearly 200 school sites daily providing vaccinations, allowing for every child to get a chance at getting vaccinated, De Blasio said.
De Blasio previously said he expects most parents will take advantage of the newly approved vaccine.
‘As a parent, I know parents in the city are gonna be so energized to get their kids this vaccination and keep them safe,’ he said.