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Nassau targets children 12 and up for COVID-19 shots at vaccine days

Craig Thornton, 13, of Freeport, gets a COVID-19

Craig Thornton, 13, of Freeport, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at Freeport High School on July 15. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Nassau’s health department is planning to host COVID-19 "Student Vaccination Days" next week aimed at children ages 12 and older, an effort to boost immunity among that population in time for the start of the new school year, County Executive Laura Curran said Thursday.

It’ll be held from Tuesday through July 31, she said.

"Schools are going to open in September," Curran said. "We really want our young people to have as normal a school experience as possible and getting young people vaccinated — 12 and over — is incredibly important."

Curran said her three children, who are all older than 12, were vaccinated.

The county executive said 81% of adults 18 and older and 96% of those 65 and older in Nassau had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

"In our African American community, in our Hispanic community and in our youth we are not quite where we want to be," Curran said during a press event at Kennedy Park in the Village of Hempstead, where the special youth vaccine days will occur in partnership with Northwell Health and the village.

What to know

  • Next week, the Nassau County Health Department will host COVID-19 vaccine days in an effort to get more children ages 12 and older inoculated before school starts, County Executive Laura Curran said Thursday. It’ll be held at Kennedy Park in the Village of Hempstead from Tuesday through July 31.
  • According to Curran spokesman Jordan Carmon, 43.8% of Nassau residents ages 12 to 15 are vaccinated, compared to a statewide average of 39%; 66.9% of those ages 16 to 25 are vaccinated, while statewide it's 55.4%. 
  • For the second consecutive day, both Long Island counties had more than 100 new COVID-19 cases — Nassau with 152 and Suffolk with 126, according to state figures.

According to Curran spokesman Jordan Carmon, 43.8% of Nassau residents ages 12 to 15 are vaccinated, compared to a statewide average of 39%; 66.9% of those ages 16 to 25 are vaccinated, while statewide it's 55.4%.

Asians in Nassau are 89% vaccinated, matching the state’s average for the demographic. Whites in Nassau are 62.3% vaccinated; the state average is 55.4%. Blacks are 44.5% vaccinated; the state average is 39.9%. Hispanics/Latinos are 66.5% vaccinated, compared to 61.5% statewide. Those statistics cover fully vaccinated people who are 15 and older, Carmon said.

Mayor criticizes first responders

Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at his daily news conference, criticized first responders like police officers who are declining the vaccine, citing prior infection by the virus. "This is in the category of give me a bleeping break. When did everyone get a medical degree? Yeah, I'm sick of everyone armchair saying that they know more than the doctors. … So, could we stop the amateurishness, you know, like this is just got to end. It's got to end."

Nassau, Suffolk and New York City track police officer vaccinations differently.

In the city, 43% of the NYPD has been vaccinated, but that tally includes those who got the shot from the department itself, spokeswoman Det. Sophia Mason said by email.

Nassau also counts only officers who have gotten vaccinated through the department, according to spokesman Det. Lt. Richard Lebrun. That rate, he said, is 36.4%. He said the department didn’t ask police officers if they’d been vaccinated elsewhere.

And in an email, the Suffolk police department said: "47% of county law enforcement have received vaccinations," It’s unclear whether that figure includes just Suffolk officers or also sheriff personnel and others, and whether personnel vaccinated elsewhere would be counted.

Also Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office released figures showing that both Long Island's counties had a second consecutive day with more than 100 new COVID-19 cases — Nassau with 152 and Suffolk with 126. And for second day in a row, one of two deaths Wednesday in the state was a Nassau resident.

On Long Island, there were 95 hospitalizations, up from 54 a week ago. And the number of ICU patients has tripled in the last 10 days, reaching 25 on Wednesday.

With Matt Clark

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