Window quickly closing to fully-vaccinate kids before school

It’s just six weeks until Capital Region schools reopen, and doctors are pushing for students to get vaccinated before they go back.
However, the window of opportunity is closing.

It’s a matter of timing. It takes six weeks to be fully vaccinated with the Moderna shots, five weeks for Pfizer, and most schools open six weeks from Wednesday.

In the seven counties where Hudson Headwaters Health Network takes care of patients, about half of eligible kids have gotten at least one shot.

Dr. Michael Celotti, a pediatrician for 17 years, says there are several factors preventing more kids from getting vaccinated, including parent opposition and the fact the vaccines haven’t gotten full FDA approval, just emergency use authorization.

Celotti says telling kids the vaccines will keep them out of the hospital isn’t as effective as telling them not getting the shots will keep them out of sports.

"Their life revolves around social factors, and social get-togethers, so I do drive it, the conversation a little bit that way, where if you want to play sports and if you want to get together with your friends, this is one way that we can help beat the pandemic,” said Dr. Michael

Celotti, with Hudson Headwaters. "That usually hits home a little bit more than it’s going to keep you out of the hospital."

Leaders of 31 area school districts sent a letter to the New York State Health Department Tuesday, pleading for updated guidance on distancing and testing, especially as it relates to busses and classrooms.

Hear a local superintendent explain why he thinks vaccinations will rise by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.