SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– As the winter surge begins to slowly decline, Governor Kathy Hochul rang in February feeling optimistic with just over 7,000 new cases statewide. 

“This is a beautiful sight my friends, we’ve been waiting for this,” Governor Hochul said at her press briefing Tuesday afternoon. “It’s hard to believe on January 7 we had 90,000 positive cases in our state.” 

What she’s not happy about is the low vaccination rates among children.

“As much as they’re going upwards, they’re not where they should be, they’re nowhere close to where they should be.”

Governor Kathy Hochul

Just 28% of 5-11-year-olds are fully vaccinated according to state data. In Onondaga County, the number is slightly better at 31.5%. 

Governor Hochul is now pushing for two incentives to convince more parents who are on the fence to get their children vaccinated. 

The Governor is urging the federal government to extend insurance coverage to all insurers for COVID-19 vaccine consultations. This would make it free for anyone to talk with a doctor about their concerns and make the best decision for themselves or their child. This is already covered for those under Medicaid. 

Hochul also took it a step further to call on insurance companies to offer their customers incentives for getting the shot.

“They offer all kinds of wellness incentives, you get incentives to go join a gym for example, or eat healthy or go to certain restaurants, lets get them to be creative to create certain incentives for this, so we can get over that hump,” Governor Hochul said. 

She’s hoping this extra push is what parents need to roll up their kid’s sleeves and get vaccinated. 

The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee is set to meet on February 15 to discuss Pfizer’s latest submission. If approved shots could be in arms by early March.