Vax to School — Last Week to Get the Shot in Order to Be Fully Immunized in Time for the First Day of School

August 9 is the last day to get the two-dose Pfizer vaccine regimen in time to be fully vaccinated by the first day of school on September 13

New campaign launching today to urge families to get the shot so kids can join their classmates more safely in September

August 2, 2021 — The departments of Education and Health are launching a multi-media campaign to promote vaccination to kids and parents so they can be fully immunized by the first day of school. August 9 is the last day for children 12 and up to get their first shot in time to be fully protected by school opening on September 13. Children under 18 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, which entails a five-week period to full vaccination, including the three weeks between the first and second doses.

“Our schools’ layered approach to safety has kept kids healthy – and there is nothing more protective than vaccination,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. “Getting vaccinated now protects you, your classmates, your families and the entire school community.”

“Vaccines are our passport out of this pandemic, and every young person vaccinated is another person protected from this disease,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “As a parent, I encourage everyone preparing to return to school this fall to sign up for your vaccination as soon as possible.”

The $1.3 million campaign will run from August 2 through the end of September 12 on TV, radio, digital, subway, newspapers and posters at neighborhood businesses including bodegas and supermarkets. The ads can be viewed here. The ads will be translated into the top 13 languages spoken by Limited English Proficient New Yorkers.

Alongside awareness, the back-to-school campaign will open mobile vaccination sites directly in the places where young people are at this August. Locations include, Public School Athletic League pre-season conditioning sites, high volume summer meal sites, 12 Saturday Night Lights locations, and 28 middle and high school Summer Rising sites. Getting the word out about these opportunities is occurring through live phone calls to New York City parents, which will include the offer of at-home vaccination visits. Additionally, PA/PTAs can take part in the City-sponsored vaccine referral program for community groups, allowing them to earn $100 for every parent and/or child who gets their first shot. PA/PTAs can also host a mobile vaccination team at any PA/PTA-sponsored events this fall.

School nurses are critical partners in keeping our young people healthy and safe, and during the first month of school they can set up mobile vaccination sites at schools or help interested students schedule at-home vaccinations.

New York City has recently reached more than 10 million COVID vaccine doses administered, including more than 240,000 people under 18-year-olds.

Beginning September 13, all city employees—including DOE staff—are required must show a one-time proof of vaccination or take weekly COVID-19 tests. In partnership with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), each of the five UFT borough offices will host vaccination sites this fall.

Vaccines are available at hundreds of City sites, H+H hospitals, mobile sites, and pharmacies and community clinics, and anyone can receive an at-home vaccine.

  • While vaccine sites throughout the City accept walk-ups, you can make an appointment at vaccinefinder.nyc.gov or call the vaccine center 877-VAX-4NYC to arrange for free, round-trip transportation to a vaccine site.
  • Everyone is eligible to request and receive at-home vaccination—and you can choose Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Register for an appointment at nyc.gov/homevaccine or call 877-829-4692.
  • Parents or guardians can also check with their pediatrician or health care provider to see if they have the Pfizer vaccine, and ensure that their child is up-to-date on other routine immunizations at the same time.
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    MEDIA CONTACT: Patrick Gallahue / Michael Lanza,
    PressOffice@health.nyc.gov