Hochul makes big push to vaccinate young children

The state is increasing its efforts to get vaccines into the arms of the largest unvaccinated group of New Yorkers: young children. 

As of Tuesday morning, just 22% of children ages 5-11 in New York state are fully vaccinated. That compares with 65.5% of children ages 12-17 and 93.6% for the most heavily vaccinated group, adults ages 65-74. 

The rate of full vaccination for all ages across the state is 72.6%. 

The vaccine has been authorized for children ages 5-11 for only about two months, accounting for some of the disparity — adults had access for all of 2021 and older children for much of the last year.  

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday that the state is pressing to close the gap with a new initiative called #VaxForKids. 

“As COVID-19 continues to spread, the best armor for our children is the vaccine,” she said in a prepared statement. “It’s safe, effective, free, and over a half-million children in New York between 5-11 years old have already gotten their first dose so far. With the #VaxForKids campaign, we are doubling down on our efforts to get this critical message out to even more parents and guardians.”

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