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GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES #VAXFORKIDS CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE VACCINATION RATES AMONG CHILDREN FIVE AND OLDER

New Program Urging Pediatricians, Parents, and Guardians to Ensure Children Five and Older Get Vaccinated and Keep Up With All Recommended Vaccine Doses  
  
Multi-Pronged Marketing Effort Includes Television and Digital Media to Reach Parents and Guardians  
  
Follows Booster Dose Eligibility for Adolescents 12 and Older and Additional Dose Eligibility for Children 5 - 11 With Certain Immunocompromising Conditions  
  
New York Parents and Guardians Can Learn More and Schedule Their Child's Free Vaccine Today: ny.gov/VaxForKids  
  
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new campaign to increase vaccination rates among children five and older - urging pediatricians, parents, and guardians to help children get vaccinated and keep up with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.  
   
"The best protection for our kids is to ensure they get vaccinated and keep up with all recommended vaccine doses," Governor Hochul said. "As COVID-19 continues to spread, the best armor for our children is the vaccine. 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." 
   
The multifaceted #VaxForKids effort includes new marketing efforts to reach parents and guardians in English and Spanish. This includes advertising on television, radio, and digital - including search and streaming. As part of the program, a new PSA featuring Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett will launch statewide with a focus on reaching parents and guardians of children 5 - 11. Additional PSAs will be launched over the coming weeks.  
   
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, "Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, COVID-19 cases and even hospitalizations are rising among children. There has never been a more important time for pediatricians, parents, and guardians to ensure children five and older get vaccinated and stay up-to-date with all recommended doses. Vaccines have been the backbone of pediatric care for decades, protecting our children against countless diseases. The COVID-19 vaccine is no different. I urge New Yorkers to make sure their children get fully vaccinated - and their third dose when eligible - so they have meaningful and continued protection against the virus."  
   
To date, over 1.5 million children 5 - 17 have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Jan. 10, 2022, 32.2% of children 5 - 11 and 73.4% of adolescents 12 - 17 have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 21.6% of children 5 - 11 and 65.4% of adolescents 12 - 17 have completed their initial vaccine series.  
   
To accompany the communications program, new #VaxForKids pop-up sites will be established in communities statewide to administer first and second doses for children five and older as well as booster and additional doses for eligible children and adolescents. Locations and dates will be announced soon. Already, the state has established a dedicated hub so parents and guardians have information, resources, and FAQs on the vaccine and children specifically. The Department of Health continues to actively communicate and provide guidance to pediatric providers on-the-ground and in every region across the state.  
   
Children five and older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. As of Jan. 7, 2022, adolescents 12 and older are eligible for a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least five months after completing their initial vaccine series. Additionally, children 5 - 11 with certain immunocompromising conditions are now eligible for an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least 28 days after completing their initial vaccine series. Pediatric providers, parents, and guardians are encouraged to visit ny.gov/VaxForKids, ny.gov/Boosters, and ny.gov/GetTheVaxFacts for trustworthy information and resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and children and adolescents.  
   
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and widely available statewide, including at over 2,000 locations administering the vaccine for children. All state mass vaccination sites are offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children five years and older, booster doses for New Yorkers 12 years and older, and additional doses for immunocompromised children five years and older. Parents and guardians can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations. New Yorkers are also encouraged to contact their child's pediatrician, family physician, county health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), rural health centers, or pharmacies that may be administering the vaccine to this age group. Make sure that the provider offers the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.  
   
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