Veronika Anastasiadis is excited about her senior year of high school.
“I was scared that we weren’t going to get a senior year 'cause I’m going into 12th grade," she said.
However, the delta variant’s spread put a damper on that enthusiasm.
“I want to be able to go back to normal and not wear my mask all the time and live my life without worrying about getting sick," she said.
When she came to Fort Hamilton High School Monday for cheer practice and saw a pop-up vaccine site, she didn't hesitate to get the shot herself, hoping to do her part to curb the increase in COVID-19 cases, knowing more people need to roll up their sleeves too.
"I think that it is their choice to do it, but I think that once everyone is, it's going to be a big alleviation off of everyone’s backs, and especially for parents who are scared to send their kids to school and it being mandated. It’s important," Anastasiadis said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday the city would be making COVID-19 vaccinations available to eligible students at 25 summer school and enrichment program sites, called Summer Rising, starting Monday. On Monday, he talked about it again.
"Let’s talk about our youngest New Yorkers who are eligible for the vaccine, the 12- to 17-year-olds. Already, 226,000 12- to 17-year-olds have gotten at least one dose, and we’re going to put a big effort into play to reach many more of them before school begins," de Blasio said.
Renee Vincent dropped her son off for Summer Rising and didn’t know about the site until she got here, but she was immediately on board for his health and for the health of their family.
“I’m the caretaker of my mom. She has Alzheimer’s. And I don’t want him to get sick and bring it home to me," she said. "I had it, corona, really badly, and I don’t want to go through that again."
Right now, 43 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds have received one dose of the vaccine. The city hopes that all 12- to 17-year-olds will opt in by August 9 so that they are fully vaccinated by the first day of school.
Meanwhile, the mask mandate remains in place for everyone in public school.