April 6, 2021 By Ryan Songalia
New Yorkers as young as 16 years of age became eligible Tuesday to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, a week after the minimum age to receive the shot was dropped to 30. The move comes two weeks ahead of President Joe Biden’s April 19 date to make all adults eligible for the vaccine.
All New Yorkers 16 and above are now eligible to receive the vaccine, but only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved by federal authorities for use in 16 and 17-year-olds. Parental consent will be required for most people under age 18 to receive a shot.
“As we prepare to expand eligibility to all New Yorkers over the age of 16, New York’s vaccination program is moving full steam ahead to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday. “We’re opening new vaccination sites around the state and preparing for a future increase in supply.”
A little over 745,000 Queens residents have received at least one vaccine dose– about 32.7 percent of the population, according to the latest data released by the New York State Department of Health. Across the borough, about 456,00 residents have been fully vaccinated.
The state has seen nearly 6,750,000, or 33.8 percent of the population, receive at least one vaccine does, with 4,233,463 (21.2 percent) fully vaccinated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio touted the city’s success in getting the public vaccinated. On Friday, 100,669 New Yorkers received the shot, with 524,520 vaccinations administered in one week.
“For quite a while now, I’ve been saying we could break half a million a week if we had the supply. Well, guess what? We got the supply and we have now surpassed half a million doses in a week and we can go farther,” de Blasio said.
Following the latest shift in eligibility, the State University of New York announced Tuesday it will receive the vaccine from the state to distribute at 34 SUNY campuses. The aim is to start vaccinating students living on campus ahead of spring break. The university system is slated to receive a first round of 18,600 Johnson & Johnson doses.
Gov. Cuomo was in Queens on Monday, touring the location of a new pop-up vaccination site in Rochdale Village. The Governor announced the “Roll Up Your Sleeve” campaign, which aims to increase the turnout of Black and Latino residents at vaccination sites.
“We are doing everything we can to do this equitably and fair. We are bringing the vaccines to the Black community, to the Latino community, 189 popup vaccine sites in communities of color,” Cuomo said.