New York City Plans to Require Vaccine Passport for Kids Age 5-11 to Enter Some Indoor Settings

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio hinted that kids aged 5-11 would eventually require a vaccination passport to enter certain businesses. He noted that this process might take “a number of weeks” before the policy is put into place. 

New York City currently requires people age 12 and older to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, gyms, and other organizations.

Mayor de Blasio said in a press briefing:

“We want to get to the day where we actually could vaccinate the youngest New Yorkers and get that rolling. We know it’ll take a while. I mean, right now, to use the example of the 12- to 17-year-olds, very good news, we’re almost at 79% of them. That’s fantastic, but it did take a while.”

De Blasio acknowledged that he did not have an exact timeline for when the child vaccine passport requirements will go into effect. He knows it will not happen immediately since it will take several weeks to get this group vaccinated. A similar requirement for children will occur in San Francisco, but not for at least eight weeks after the vaccine is available.

The CDC recommended the pediatric Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 last week. De Blasio announced, “Our five- to 11-year-olds, we want to get them all vaccinated. We want to keep them all safe.” 17,000 New York City children between the ages of 5-11 have received their first dose. 

On Monday, New York City schools that serve kids in that age group opened vaccination sites. A parent or guardian must accompany children or have written or verbal consent from a parent or legal guardian. By the end of the month, more than 1,000 sites will be open across the city. City workers will also be granted 4 hours of paid sick leave to take their child to get vaccinated.

The widespread demand for pediatric vaccines has caused delays, long lines, and frustration at vaccination sites. Some parents reported that children were turned away due to a lack of vaccines. De Blasio said about the children’s vaccine shortages, “Overall what we’re seeing is a lot of demand and a lot of kids getting vaccinated in our schools. And that’s good news.”

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