Onondaga Co. working to get more 12-15-year-olds vaccinated

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Today marks the first day 12-15-year-olds are eligible to receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said during his Thursday briefing that the county is still working to get more of this demographic vaccinated and will be heading back into the schools next week for the second dose clinic. 

According to New York State numbers, Onondaga County currently has 29.9% of 12-15-year-olds with at least one dose of the vaccine. 

In comparison, neighboring counties vaccination rates for 12-15-year-olds are as follows:

  • Cayuga Co.- 27.4%
  • Cortland Co.- 27.5%
  • Madison Co.- 30.3%
  • Onondaga Co.- 29.9%
  • Oswego Co. 24.1%
  • Tompkins Co.- 52.6%

McMahon said during the briefing some parents are waiting until they are fully vaccinated before they let their children get the vaccine calling it a “wait and see” approach.

“I think as time goes by… we’ll be in a position where they’ll be fully vaccinated and 12-15-year-olds are doing fine and they are going to practice and doing fine, I think that will help trigger more participation as well,” McMahon said. 

He continued by saying it’s now time for the medical community to take the lead on being credible messengers to parents and children to get more kids vaccinated. 

And this is something Tompkins County Public Health Director, Frank Kruppa said his office has been working on for a while and credits relationship building for the county’s high vaccination rate.

“It doesn’t happen overnight,” he said. “There’s not a silver bullet you can do that convinces folks, I think it’s really that relationship building with your community over time that really helps improve those vaccination numbers.” 

McMahon also announced that the county will be holding another vaccine clinic on Saturday at Barry Park in Syracuse and starting June 22nd the county will host weekly vaccine clinics on Tuesdays in the basement of the Civic Center for anyone who still doesn’t have a shot and wants one.   

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