Gov. Hochul on possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate in NYS public schools: 'it's on the table'

Posted at 5:16 PM, Oct 27, 2021

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Kathy Hochul held a COVID-19 update Wednesday and said a possible COVID-19 vaccine mandate in public schools in the state is "on the table."

Tuesday, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel voted to formally recommend the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5 and a CDC committee will meet next week to discuss granting approval.

With a COVID-19 vaccine possibly becoming available to more school-aged children, a reporter asked the governor if there would be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate in public schools.

"That is a possibility, it's on the table, and as I've said all along I want to empower parents and the schools to do the right thing first," said Hochul.

The governor continued on to say if there is not adequate compliance, or COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations among children begin to rise, she will have "no choice."

According to Hochul, right now the numbers are good and the state wants to focus on getting children vaccinated voluntarily and she hopes parents do "the right thing."

Dr. Emily Lutterloh, NYS Director of Epidemiology, said the state has been preparing efforts to vaccinate the 5 to 11 age group for weeks.

The governor encouraged parents to begin to schedule appointments with pediatricians and the state will work with schools to set up vaccination events as well.

According to Hochul, the state has ordered 380,100 COVID-19 vaccine doses for the 5 to 11 age group from the state allocation. This includes 13,200 in the Western New York region and 31,500 in the Finger Lakes region.