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NYC Launches COVID Vaccine Pop-Ups For Kids 5-11 At City Schools

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City schools are launching pop-up COVID vaccine sites for children ages 5 to 11 Monday.

More than 1,000 sites will open at schools across the city this month, and the Pfizer shots will be administered by trained medical professionals.

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All vaccination records are kept strictly confidential, and no appointment is needed.

With more kids now eligible for the shot, a major change could be coming to New York City classrooms by the end of the school year — no masks.

“I think it’s imperative, if we can find a safe way to do it,” Mayor-elect Eric Adams said in an interview with CNN.

Adams said he’s keeping vaccine mandates for city workers, but mask mandates for kids in schools may be lifted.

“I think it’s part of the development and socialization of a child, that smile,” he said. “Not being able to see the smiles of our children, I believe, has a major impact.”

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Some parents of special needs students feel the sooner the better, saying masks are impeding learning.

READ MORE: Mayor-Elect Adams Hints That Mask Wearing In NYC School Classrooms Could Be Over By End Of School Year

“Especially for a lot of kids who can’t pick up on social cues to not read somebody’s expression or see their eyes. It has been detrimental for a lot of kids,” said Upper East Side resident Heidi Green.

The Department of Education’s website shows COVID cases among students and staff make up a fraction of 1%. Last week, the mayor and health commissioner said the masks will stay in the short term.

“Remember, it will take us some time for people to get to a fully vaccinated stage and to get a sufficient number of kids vaccinated,” Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said.

COVID VACCINE

Regardless of vaccination status, some city parents expressed mixed reactions and losing the masks.

“For me, that’s way too early. My kid went to daycare just one week and came home with a cold,” said Upper West Side resident Teisha Mott.

“Once we take that away, it’s going to be hard to go back. So I want to be confident it’s the right decision,” Upper West Side resident Allison Rosen added.

Adams said any mask change would be done with science and guided by health experts, so the city doesn’t go backward and have to shut down again.

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The mayor encouraged parents and guardians with questions about the vaccine to call 212-COVID19. Visit nyc.gov/vaccinefinder to schedule an appointment and schools.nyc.gov/covid19 to see when shots will be offered at schools.

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