Free ice cream, a DJ and giveaways were just some of the perks for kids who showed up at a “pre-vacation vaccination” site at Bronx Writing Academy.
Aaliyah Jennings, 14, was first in line Friday.
“I want to take the vaccine because I want to get it over with. And I’m scared also, but like, at the same time, it’ll help, so I’m ready to take the vaccine," Aaliyah said.
The city-run site, set up behind the school, is mostly for people her age, who are now eligible for the Pfizer shot.
It’s one of several junior high schools opening up temporary vaccination sites this week, most in the Bronx.
“There are 32 Zip codes across all of New York City that were the hardest hit by the COVID pandemic. This community is actually one of them, I actually live in one of them in Brooklyn, and so it was really important to anchor this event here," said Lesleigh Irish-Underwood of METROPLUS HEALTH.
While the goal of the sites is to get children ages 12 to 17 inoculated, they’re open to family and friends as well.
Ultimately, after a year of back-and-forth remote learning, Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter, who toured the setup Friday morning, says this is an important initiative to get everyone back in a classroom by the fall, the city’s goal.
“Bringing it to the community, bringing it to our schools, bringing it to our families, this is their second home, school, it just makes it more comfortable and feel safer.”
As for Aaliyah‘s dad, Jarmal, this day brings him a giant sense of relief.
"I can take them places knowing they’ll be safe," Jarmal said. "Florida, Atlantic City, anywhere, you can know they can have fun and not worry about stuff."
The school pop-ups are just for one day, but will be back in three weeks for everyone’s second dose. City officials say they plan to open more across the five boroughs.