English and Spanish Language Ads Will Run Featuring Pediatricians Who Are Also Parents to Encouraging Other Parents to Vaccinate Their Children Against COVID-19

Part of #VaxForKids Initiative to Help Increase COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Among Eligible Children in New York, Nearly 500 Vaccine Pop-Ups Deployed Across State Thus Far

 In New York State 72.6% of Adolescents (12 – 17 Years Old) are Fully Vaccinated, 36% of Children (5 – 11 Years Old) are Fully Vaccinated

Recent Research Shows Fully Vaccinated Children (5 – 17 Years Old) Protected from COVID-Related Hospitalization by at Least 65%

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the launch of new media ads to boost vaccination rates among children in New York State. The media rollout is just the latest component of the New York State Department of Health’s #VaxForKids initiative, furthering the administration’s commitment to making the health and well-being of children and families a top priority.  

“The COVID-19 vaccine is doctor-approved, and it is the single best tool to keep our children and families from getting seriously ill or hospitalized,” Governor Hochul. “This new media campaign will help ensure parents are hearing directly from pediatricians and trusted health care providers, so they know just how critical it is to get their children vaccinated. Parents and guardians, if you haven’t already, please talk to your child’s pediatrician about getting the vaccine, and the booster dose once they are eligible.” 

New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett said, “This new media campaign further supports our #VaxForKids campaign by helping parents and guardians learn more about the importance of getting our kids vaccinated from their most trusted source, pediatricians. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective and will help protect eligible children and adolescents ages 5 – 17 from severe illness and hospitalization.” 

 The new campaign features local pediatricians from throughout New York State who join Governor Hochul and the State’s Department of Health in urging parents and guardians to get eligible children fully vaccinated and to ensure they stay up to date on all recommended doses. The doctors speak to the real risks the virus poses for children, particularly if they are unvaccinated. The campaign includes 30-second and 60-second versions of the television commercials in both English and Spanish. The spots will begin airing Monday, April 4 and run for several weeks.  

The new television commercials are available here:

30-second English language

60-second English language

Recent research shows that fully vaccinated children ages 5 – 17 are protected from COVID-related hospitalization by at least 65%.

Dr. Lauren Weintraub, Pediatric Oncologist, Albany Medicaid Center, Albany, NY said, “When I talk to my friends and family I say, look, I got vaccinated and I got my kids vaccinated.” 

Dr. Alicia Massop-Flowers, Pediatrician, MVP Pediatrics, Queens, NY said, “As the kids in my practice say, I am vaxxed to the max.”

 Dr. Elaine Schulte, Pediatrician, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY said, “Every single member of my family is fully vaccinated and boosted.”

Dr. Elizabeth Murray, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Golisano Children’s Hospital, Rochester, NY said, “I would never recommend something if I didn’t think it was safe for my own children. And my children were vaccinated as soon as they could be.”

Dr. Eve Meltzer-Krief, Pediatrician, Huntington Village Pediatrics, Allied Physicians Group, Huntington, NY said, “I always tell parents I vaccinated my children as soon as I possibly could. As soon as it was available to them.”

Dr. Philip Heavner, Pediatrician, Guthrie, Big Flats, NY said, “I have three kids, I have vaccinated all of them. I would never do anything to my children that wasn’t perfectly safe.”

The State has recently launched a series of initiatives to increase vaccination and booster rates among eligible children and adolescents. To date, over 261 pop-up sites have been established through the State’s #VaxForKids program, following over 235 sites established through the #VaxToSchool campaign.

Based on data provided by the CDC, 42.3% of children 5 – 11 and 82.5% of adolescents 12 – 17 have received at least one vaccine dose. 36% of children 5 – 11 and 72.6% of adolescents 12 – 17 are fully vaccinated. New York State continues to lead the nation in vaccinations. According to CDC data, New York State ranks two and one, respectively, for fully vaccinated 5 – 11-year-olds and fully vaccinated 12 – 17-year-olds among the top ten large states.

The latest vaccination demographics data are available here.

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 eligible for an additional dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least 28 days after completing their initial vaccine series.

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 administering the vaccine for children five years and older, boosters for New Yorkers 12 years and older, and additional doses for immunocompromised children five years and older. In addition to the state’s pop-up and mass vaccination sites, New Yorkers can visit vaccines.gov, text their ZIP code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find nearby locations.  

Parents and guardians can also 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.  

Parents and guardians are encouraged to make sure their child is up to date on all recommended and required vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. Please visit the Department of Health website for more information on recommended childhood and adolescent immunizations. Parents, and guardians are encouraged to visit ny.gov/VaxForKids for more information and resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and children.