NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s a new push to get New York Department of Education staff and students vaccinated as the Delta variant surges.

Lighting up a Times Square billboard is a new Marvel comic, “Avengers: We Are Resilient,” which was unveiled Wednesday surrounded by superheroes, from Spider-Man to Captain America, who are actually real life heroes — our health care workers.

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“These doctors, nurses and personnel were right there, fighting this virus from the beginning,” said Dr. Ramon Tallaj, founder of SOMOS Community Care.

As CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reports, this campaign with Marvel Entertainment and SOMOS Community Care targets teens 12 and up, especially in communities of color, encouraging them to get a COVID-19 vaccine for “Vax to School.”

“Part of battling this virus is battling misinformation,” said Henry R. Muñoz, co-founder of SOMOS U.S. “Science, not science fiction, science dictates that the only way to remain safe is to get vaccinated.”

COVID VACCINE

Starting this week, kids can get a copy of the limited-edition issue of “The Avengers” with the vaccine.

“Now that I got the shot, I feel more safe and secure,” one teen said.

The vaccine pop-ups are in Times Square, Maria Hernandez Park in Brooklyn and 368 East 149th St. in the Bronx.

“You too can become a superhero if you become vaccinated,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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City data released Wednesday shows since January, nearly 97% of COVID hospitalizations are unvaccinated people, and only 0.33% of fully vaccinated New Yorkers have been diagnosed with COVID.

“In the most recent weeks, people who are unvaccinated are 13 times more likely to be hospitalized compared to people who are fully vaccinated,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

As the calendar turns, with weeks until the start of school Sept. 13, the city is not just pushing to get more students vaccinated, but requiring it for all public school employees.

“If there were ever a time for the forces of good to come together to vaccinate people to defeat the forces of evil, in this case a deadly virus, it’s now,” Muñoz said.

Now the FDA has granted full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older, more vaccine mandates are likely. On her first day in office, Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke about school safety.

“We need to require vaccinations for all school personnel with an option to test out weekly – at least for now,” Hochul said.

For city schools, weekly testing as an alternative to the vaccine is not an option.

Meanwhile, if you want to get a comic book, all you have to do is pop by and get a shot.

The vaccine pop-up will be at 47th and 7th for three months.

SOMOS will distribute 20,000 comic books and released a video comic, which kids can view online.

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For more information on SOMOS, and to find in-person events, and vaccination sites, please visit: somosvaccinations.com.

Jenna DeAngelis