With the eligibility of all New Yorkers age 16 and over to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Big Apple begins a race that looks increasingly accelerated to achieve the longed-for immunization of more than 70% of the population before summer. But as some preliminary reports indicate, in the segment of the so-called ‘millennials’ and ‘generation X’ there is no rush to sign up immediately for doses.
Such is the case of Andy Xique, 25, who from this Tuesday has the option of virtually browsing the vaccination centers to make an appointment. However, as many Hispanic youth and adolescents consulted by The newspaper, “Prefers to wait.”
“I understand that now you have to spend a lot of time looking for an appointment. I prefer to take it easy and first make a medical check-up because I am asthmatic. And I don’t know what reaction it can give me. Maybe in May or June it will be ready, ”said the young man of Mexican parents.
For his part, student Miguel Lázaro, 18 years old, of Ecuadorian descent and resident of The Harlem, He assures that although he does not need the authorization of his parents, he decided not to inoculate immediately. This New Yorker who dreams of being a doctor, expressed that he also he prefers to wait a few months.
“I know that you can be a carrier of the virus as a young person, not have symptoms, but you can take it home and make your grandparents sick. But for now I prefer to take care of myself as I have. I have my doubts about the effectiveness of these vaccines ”, reacted the young New Yorker.
Teens of 16 and 17 years are limited to receiving the vaccine only from Pfizer-BioNTech of two doses, since it is the only one that has been authorized for use by people under 18 years of age. In addition, the consent of their parents is required to be injected, with certain exceptions that include adolescents who are married or without parents.
None of the available vaccines have yet been approved for people under 16 years of age.
The first indications show that there is no urgency in the youngest to get vaccinated. (Photo: F. Martínez)
“It’s only a matter of days”
The high school student Mirtha Cabello, 16, is more blunt: “I am not going to vaccinate! My family is very anti-vaccination, they gave me the doses that were required by law to enroll in school, but in this case, one can choose. It’s not mandatory. And no!”
On the contrary the Venezuelan immigrant, Arturo Caballero, 20 years old and his older siblings who are eligible to get vaccinated since last week, have tried through various digital portals and telephones to get an appointment and it has been impossible.
“You need hours, days, to get a date and a center. You have to keep insisting. It is a protection that is also free and it is a privilege that we can be immunized so quickly. We know it is only a matter of days. Let’s think about everything that has to happen for a young man from my country to dream of getting one of these vaccines. Rather, we should be grateful, “said Arturo.
Younger in hospitals
Although from the beginning of this public health crisis all prevention and now immunization strategies have been directed at the elderly and those with chronic diseases, according to data from the New York Department of Health shared by local media, more young people are landing in hospitals, for complications associated with the virus.
Until last sunday 1,146 COVID-19 patients in hospitals they had between 20 and 54 years, compared to 986 in early March. This means an increase of 16%.
Until the last update last month, New Yorkers ages 20 to 44 They represent 13% of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the state, up from 7% in early January.
In the hot months and summer vacations that are to come, the scenario of more mobility and more meetings by the population at an early age, is a fact that the health authorities prefer to anticipate. And, precisely, the vaccine is identified as a weapon.
Susana Pérez: I have always vaccinated my children and they are healthy adults. (Photo: F. Martínez)
For the Dominican Susana Pérez who lives in Harlem, believes that if the drugs are available to stop the pandemic, New Yorkers should follow this route.
“Since I arrived here, I have given my children all their vaccinations. Today they are healthy men and women. We must understand that science has advanced ”, commented the islander after being inoculated at the Metropolitan Hospital.
In contrast, the Honduran Marlyn Ortíz he does show some hesitation in authorizing his children and other young relatives to be immunized so quickly.
“These are products that they are in experimentation. I have read a lot about the side effects that some vaccines from some laboratories are causing. I prefer to wait ”, asserted the immigrant.
Honduran Marlyn Ortíz thinks she prefers to wait a few months to decide on vaccines. (Photo: F. Martínez)
The goal of the summer
Mayor Bill de Blasio added that he was “very confident” that the Big Apple could reach its herd immunity goals by June and in that circle. there are the youngest.
“This is something that we are working on with our healthcare leadership: What would be the number of complete vaccines that would be a game changer for New York City? We agree that five million would make a big difference. And we will. “
The vaccination of adolescents in New York City and the trials of the scientific community to eventually include children between 12 and 15 years old in immunization plans are also seen as a point that could mean an “important step” for the reopening of schools in autumn. At least that’s the vision of Dr. Jay Varma, senior health advisor of the mayor De Blasio.
“I think we are probably looking more towards the summer, so that we really accumulate the benefits, as for the whole society as a whole. And then when it comes to our schools. But absolutely, this is great news and it can have a major impact on what happens to the school protocols in the fall“Concluded the health authority.
What should NYC youth and teens know?
All New Yorkers age 16 and over They can now be vaccinated against COVID-19, but you should be aware that some centers still only serve certain populations, such as residents of the county in which they are located and the people over 65 years of age.
Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian present when receiving a dose. No proof of immigration status is required or social security number. Moderna and J&J drugs are available at most City administered vaccination sites. These two vaccines have been licensed only for people of 18 years of age and older.
The Pfizer laboratory vaccine is the only one licensed for adolescents from 16 onwards.
How and where to get an appointment?
All people eligible to be vaccinated in NYC have two ways to find out how and where to get vaccinated, and to make an appointment: phone line 877-VAX-4NYC and the website nyc.gov/vaccinefinder In New York State, you can use the “Am I Eligible” app and https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/ to verify your eligibility and schedule. New York State also has a vaccination hotline that you can call to schedule a vaccination: 1-833-NYS-4VAX (1-833-697-4829).
New Yorkers over 75 years plus your companion can get vaccinated together without at 24/7 mass vaccination sites operated by ‘NYC Test & Trace Corps’ at Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bathgate and Citi Field. These three sites are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have a neighbor or an acquaintance who is an elderly adult who could have mobility problems or other difficulties to get immunized, call 311 or 212-Aging-NYC (212-244-6469) which is the New York City Office of Aging. See TurboVax.info – This website was created to automatically show when new appointments are available, using a bot to track administered vaccine websites by city and state. It is paired with a Twitter account that frequently tweets new batches of quotes and provides updates on the operation.