Nearly a quarter of all children between ages 12 and 17 have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the U.S.
Since the Pfizer-BioNTech shot was approved for emergency use in teenagers on May 10, 6.3 million out of 25 million have gotten an initial dose.
An additional 2.2 million youngsters are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
During a press conference on Wednesday, President Joe Biden encouraged even more young Americans to to get the shot.
‘It’s true: the young people are much less likely to die from Covid. But if you do not get vaccinated, you get Covid sooner or later. You could get Covid still,’ he said.
‘If you’re thinking the side effects from the shot are worse than the Covid or that you can just take a chance, you’re just dead wrong. Do it to protect those more vulnerable than you.’
It comes as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that the Big Apple will start ‘pop up’ vaccine centers at school from Friday in an effort to get more children immunized.
Nearly a quarter of U.S. children between ages 12 and 17 have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to CDC data
As of Wednesday, 6.3 million teenagers out of 25 million in this age bracket have gotten an initial shot and 2.2 million are fully vaccinated. Pictured: Ruthie Riccoban, age 14, is inoculated by Nurse Karen Pagliaro at Hartford Healthcares mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, May 13
Pfizer’s vaccine was approved for use in older kids after data was released from its phase III clinical trial, which saw 2,200 teenagers enrolled in the U.S. compared to 40,000 for the aged 16 and older trial.
Half of the group received two doses of the vaccine three weeks apart and the other half were given two placebo injections.
A total of 18 cases of COVID-19 were reported in the placebo group while no cases were reported in the vaccine group.
This means that the vaccine was 100 percent safe and effective in 12-to-15-year-olds, according to the researchers.
What’s more, side effects were similar to those seen in the larger trial among 16-to-25-year-olds, including pain at the injection site, tiredness, fever and headaches.
However, despite the promising results, many parents are not enthusiastic about vaccinating their children.
In a recent poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, parents were asked if they would get their child immunized once a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and available for their child’s age group.
Only about three in 10 parents – 29 percent – of children under 18 said they would get their child vaccinated ‘right away.’
The poll also found 15 percent only plan to vaccinate their children if the school requires it and 19 percent said their child will definitely not be getting vaccinated.
What’s more, although children can contract COVID-19 and pass the disease on to others, they tend to not get very ill.
More than 3.97 million children have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, but only make up 0.1 percent of all deaths.
Mayor de Blasio announced students in New York City will be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines at pop-up sites in school
It comes as Mayor de Blasio announced students in New York City will be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines in school.
The pop-up clinics will begin at four schools in the Bronx, and expand to more schools in other boroughs in the coming weeks.
‘It’s going to be a way to reach a lot of young people quickly,’ de Blasio said during a press conference on Wednesday.
‘We want to make schools a place where kids can get vaccinated. This is something that I think will open up a world of possibilities.’
As of Wednesday, 118,000 children between ages 12 and 17 in New York City have been vaccinated, accounting for 23 percent all kids in that age range.
De Blasio also announced that New Yorkers above age 12 can begin receiving the Pfizer vaccine at the New York Aquarium and, in return, receive a free ticket for a future date.
This is similar to programs being run at the Bronx Zoo and American Museum of Natural History.
‘We are going to reach kids everywhere and make kids much, much safer,’ he said.