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COUNTY HEALTH LEADERS JOIN WITH PEDIATRICIANS AND FAMILY PHYSICIANS TO EMPHASIZE IMPORTANCE OF VACCINATING CHILDREN AGES 5 AND OLDER AGAINST COVID-19

11/22/2021

 

ORGANIZATIONS LAUD ACTION OF GOVERNOR HOCHUL TO ENSURE COMMUNITY PROVIDERS HAVE ACCESS TO VACCINE 

 

 

(Albany, New York) The New York State Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) today joined with the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (NYSAFP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics District II New York State (NYSAAP) to emphasize the critical importance of vaccinating children ages 5 and older against COVID-19.

 

The organizations also lauded recent action by Governor Hochul to support community medical practices in their efforts to vaccinate patients. The State Department of Health recently reduced the minimum shipment amount of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5-11 years from 300 doses to 100 doses. This will allow many more community based medical practices to receive and administer the vaccine.

 

Indu Gupta MD, MPH, MA, FACP, NYSACHO President and Onondaga County Commissioner of Health, said: “Pediatricians and family physicians are on the front lines of the effort to vaccinate children and are a critical source of information for vaccine effectiveness, proven safety, and reassurance for the parents. Local health departments have longstanding working relationships with community physicians and are a trusted partner in facilitating community response during public health emergencies. They are working collaboratively with their community physicians to ensure equity and access to the Pfizer vaccine for every child 5-11 years of age in every community.”

 

James Mumford, MD, President of NYSAFP said: “The members of the NYS Academy of Family Physicians greatly value the strong partnership that we have with our local health departments, the State and our pediatrician colleagues in serving our pediatric patients and providing access to safe and disease-preventing vaccines including most recently, COVID-19 for those aged five and older. We applaud the actions of Governor Hochul and her administration in supporting the efforts of community-based medical practices to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.  Particularly, shipment of smaller quantities of vaccine is essential for practices which do not have a large enough volume of patients to use the larger dose shipments in the recommended period of time before the vaccine begins to deteriorate. This is critical to enable our members to assist children and their families with accessing COVID-19 vaccine through their family physicians, whom they trust and with whom they have long standing relationships.” 

Dr. Warren Seigel, MD, MBA, FAAP, Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II New York State, said: ”Our members from the tip of Long Island to Niagara Falls are working to get as many children immunized against COVID as possible, as soon as possible. The partnership with local health departments and the support of our state government has made the massive challenge before us doable.  We are ready to work with all partners to get the vaccine to as many children as we can. We know that this first wave will be difficult and exhausting, but it will probably only get us to one third of the 1.5 million newly eligible children 5-11 covered. It is our ongoing partnership with state government, county health departments and our colleague family physicians that will help us all move forward to help us reach all questioning and somewhat hesitant parents.  And it is our hope that finally, again, working together we can get 90% of children immunized before the start of next school year.”

 

All three organizations also stressed the importance for parents to ensure their children are caught up on all of their vaccinations, including the flu vaccine, which is recommended for almost everyone 6 months of age and older.