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Onondaga County releases vaccination plan for children ages 5-11

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media (File Photo)
Onondaga County releases vaccination plan for children

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says the county is “ready to roll” when it comes to getting children aged 5-11 vaccinated against COVID-19.

McMahon says the county solicited feedback from parents through the school districts. Of the 9,449 surveys received, 53.7% of parents said they plan to have their children vaccinated as soon as possible.

Now, the county is ready to start rolling out those vaccines. It’s working with partners including pharmacies, schools, and pediatrician’s offices to get the shots in arms. The process may look different from previous rollouts this year, though.

"This is not the same vaccine that we have,” said McMahon. “It's different, and so the infrastructure of the vaccine coming in the community is an ongoing process."

The county is partnering with the Syracuse City School District to hold clinics starting next week. Other schools and districts who have expressed interest in a vaccination clinic include East Syracuse-Minoa, Onondaga Central, Lafayette, Marcellus, Fayetteville-Manlius, Tully, Jamesville-Dewitt, North Syracuse, West Genesee, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, All Saints School, and the Montessori School of Syracuse.

McMahon said they’re also hoping to have appointments at pharmacies including Kinney Drugs and Wegmans starting next week in addition to providing supplies to pediatrician offices. The county is holding vaccination clinicsfor the 5-11 age group next Monday and Friday from 1-3 p.m at the Syracuse Civic Center.

McMahon said working with the county’s partners will be a key component to rolling out the vaccine efficiently. Children under age 12 account for about 20% of the county’s cases almost every single day.

“You're talking about providing a much needed layer of immunity into that demographic, and that certainly should help drive some of our data down, so we're excited about that," said McMahon.

He expects it will take about three to four weeks to vaccinate this demographic.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.