WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new push to get younger New Yorkers vaccinated against coronavirus.

Next week, Westchester County will roll out a public awareness campaign aimed at teenagers, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday the state will increasingly focus on getting shots into the arms of people ages 16 to 25, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

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Chester Pattie left the White Plains vaccination center on Thursday feeling good about getting his shot.

“People are dying. Like, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Why wouldn’t you want to protect yourself from it?” the 17-year-old from Brewster said.


Cuomo hopes many more 16- to 25-year-olds adopt that attitude. He was in Buffalo as two students joined a push to boost vaccination rates in their age group to prevent asymptomatic young people from spreading the disease.

“If you say hello to your grandmother or your father or your brother or your sister, or you shake hands with someone on the street, then you are affecting other people,” Cuomo said.

The governor said he’s concerned only 32% of people ages 16 to 25 have been vaccinated. He didn’t mention healthy people in that age group only became vaccine eligible three weeks ago, on April 6.

Juliette Budin, 16, of Larchmont estimates 75% of her friends will get vaccinated.

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“I wanted to get vaccinated to make sure that my family was okay, and I wasn’t spreading the virus,” Budin said.

“Some of them are a little hesitant, because they are a little worried it was rushed and they are not sure what’s in it,” White Plains resident Max Gumowitz said, when asked how his friends feels about getting vaccinated.


Gumowitz told Aiello he trusts the vaccine, and believes having a vaccination record card will make life easier.

“I want to get a job this summer, so I’m hoping that getting the vaccine will put me above other people. Also taking flights and stuff like that,” Gumowitz said.

“I think people are just ready to get back to normal, and if a shot in the arm is what gets us there, I think most people are willing to do it,” New Rochelle resident Zack Hillery said.

Health officials say whatever motivates you to vaccinate is fine with them.

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Cuomo said he is urging high schools to arrange transportation to take students to vaccination centers.

Tony Aiello