The mandate, which will affect nearly 200,000 businesses, addresses the newly vaccinated population of children ages 5-11.
Children between those ages will be required to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment establishments. The mandate will go into effect partially on December 14 — when children will have to show proof of at least their first shot to attend such activities.
“We’re also now requiring two mRNA vaccine doses for New Yorkers over age 12, up from one, starting December 27,” the city’s Health Commissioner, Dave Chokshi, said.
“Children ages 5 to 11 will be required to get vaccinated to participate in high-risk extracurricular activities, including sports, band, orchestra and dance. This requirement for the initial vaccine dose will take effect on Dec. 14,” he added.
“We need to take very bold action. We’re seeing restrictions starting to come back. We’re seeing shutdowns,” De Blasio said. “We cannot let those restrictions come back. We cannot have shutdowns in New York.”
“The more universal they are, the more likely employees will say okay, it’s time. I’m going to do this. Because you can’t jump from one industry to another or one company to another. It’s something that needs to be universal to protect all of us,” he added.
NYC introduces vaccine mandate for children after CDC approves Pfizer vaccine for ages 5 to 11
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children 5 to 11 at the beginning of last month.
In September, Pfizer publicized its findings from Phase Two of its three trials, showing that the product was not only safe but activated a “robust” antibody response in those aged 5 to 11.
A total of 2,268 volunteer subjects aged 5 to 11 received a two-dose regimen of the Pfizer inoculation, administered 21 days apart, according to a report from CNN. Unlike the adult doses, however, the trial geared to much younger children used 10-microgram doses, one-third of the amount of vaccine given to all those 12 and up.
Pfizer officials say that they measured the immune responses as seen in the amounts of neutralizing antibodies in participants’ blood, contrasting those levels to what had already been seen in a control group comprised of 16- to 25-year-olds who had received the larger 30-microgram shot series.
The company says that the immunity levels detected in the youngest children were comparable to those seen in the other group, making for a “strong immune response in this cohort of children one month after the second dose.”