Aug. 13, 2022 -- New York City is closing 10 city-run sites where children younger than 5 could get the COVID-19 vaccine, with three of those sites transitioning to administer the monkeypox vaccine.
The city health department said demand for children’s COVID vaccines had been on the downswing at the clinics, which opened in late June. Meanwhile, monkeypox cases have increased, with the city declaring it a public health emergency July 30.
“We always planned to transition vaccination for very young children to providers,” the city’s health department said in a statement, according to Spectrum News NY1. “Due to the ongoing monkeypox emergency, we transitioned some of these sites to administer monkeypox vaccine.”
All the COVID vaccine sites for children will close by Sunday, Aug. 14, Spectrum News NY1 said. It’s unclear if the other sites will transition to monkeypox vaccine.
No appointments for children’s COVID vaccinations had to be canceled, the city said. The plan is that children now needing the COVID vaccine can go to doctors, pharmacies, or the health department clinics.
Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer urged the health department to keep the kids’ COVID vaccine sites open through the fall.
“I strongly urge you to maintain these family-friendly sites, at least until mid-September so that children who are going to day care and school can get vaccinated,” Brewer wrote. City schools open Sept. 8
Brewer noted that the city-run sites administered the Moderna vaccines, while many doctors and neighborhood health clinics use the Pfizer vaccine. That could be a problem for a child that had not finished the Moderna regimen or for families that prefer Moderna, she said.
According to the city health department, 2,130 people in New York City had tested positive for monkeypox as of Friday.
On Friday, the city announced 9,000 additional monkeypox vaccines would be made available Saturday morning.