SYRACUSE N.Y. — During a Wednesday press briefing, Governor Kathy Hochul shared updates on the state's plan to get children ages five to 11 vaccinated against COVID-19.
The FDA recently approved the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in children ages five to 11 and the CDC plans to meet next Tuesday, November 2, but Gov. Hochul says her team has been preparing for weeks.
Gov. Hochul said she and her staff are talking to pediatricians asking them to get on board and plan to provide the vaccine for children.
"We've been waiting for this, parents have been waiting for this, schools have been waiting for this, and this is really a breakthrough," said the governor.
In her briefing she noted, 350 school districts intend to host vaccination event. Gov. Hochul is hopeful that parents will take their children to these vaccination clinics, their doctors, and other vaccination locations.
She later added, if she sees vaccination rates aren't going up amongst students she will consider put a vaccine mandate in place for schools.
As of now, Gov. Hochul says 370 providers across the state have already pre-ordered 380,100 pediatric vaccine doses.
Central New York providers have pre-ordered 6,000 doses compared to New York City providers who ordered 231,000 doses.
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Gov. Hochul said during her briefing that this is just the first wave of orders, and she intends to ensure doses are available to every region.
"I have been assured," said Gov. Hochul. "I keep asking this question. I'm talking to the White House, talking to Pfizer, talking to anybody else; will we have enough?"
Although she is still awaiting guidance from the CDC, when it comes to approval of the pediatric vaccination Gov. Hochul says, "It is imminent, it is happening soon."
During her briefing, Gov. Hochul also shared that she has reached out to all the school districts in the state, asking them about their plans for distributing the shots.
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So far, Gov. Hochul says 350 school districts have said they intend to hold vaccination events. Another 390 districts intend o send out communications about the vaccination effort to parents.
"We have asked the school districts to tell us how they want to do it," said Gov. Hochul. "Do they want to do it in the schools? They have to partner with the local health departments, work with local pharmacies, school-based health centers. There's a lot of different ways to approach this, but they are fully engaged."
Gov. Hochul also provided updated COVID-19 case numbers during her briefing, announcing that the state lost 35 people to the virus on Wednesday.
According to Gov. Hochul, daily hospitalizations decreased to 1,996 from last week, but concerns remain high as last year's Halloween brought a rise in cases through the holiday season.
Watch the full press briefing below: