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NEW YORK, NY- New York’s college students have a new assignment on their to-do lists before the end of the school year — getting the coronavirus vaccine.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that colleges and universities throughout the state will get their own allocation of COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to vaccinate all college-age students before they head home for the summer.
“The infection rate among young people is going up,” Cuomo said, noting that the infection rate is now 14 percent among younger New Yorkers. “…We have the staff at the school we have the student at the school, let’s vaccinate them at the schools.”
The initiative will roll out first at State University campuses, but will be available to any college or university, Cuomo said. An allocation of 21,000 vaccines will be given to SUNY students in the first round and another 14,000 will be set aside for private colleges, according to the governor.
It comes a week after vaccine eligibility opened to all adults ages 16 and up in New York.
The college-focused vaccine programs will ensure students don’t bring coronavirus infections home when they leave campus for the summer.
It will also tackle what Cuomo described as a “superhero theory” hesitancy for getting the vaccine among younger New Yorkers, which is one of the obstacles to reaching herd immunity in the state, he said.
“Even if you believe ‘I’m young and it won’t really bother me’ — You can give it to someone else,” he said. “You have a civic duty to make sure you were not a transmitter of COVID even if you believe you are a superhero and you have super-immunity.”