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With No Remote Learning Option, Some Worry Students Forced To Quarantine Will Fall Behind

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- There is a push across the Tri-State Area to get students vaccinated against COVID-19 before school starts.

New York City's strategy has been to make the COVID vaccine as accessible as possible, but data shows fewer than half the city's 12 to 17-year-olds got their first dose, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.

"I just kept bugging her, just saying I wanted to get the shot, everyday," said 15-year-old Jasiah Kingsbury.

Jasiah's urging led his family to a pop-up COVID vaccination clinic in Brownsville on Monday.

"He decided he's got to go back to school. It's all in-person. So he feels safer with the shot," said Natalie Edwards, Jasiah's mom.

Monday was the last day to get the first shot in time to be fully vaccinated by the start of the in-person school year on Sept. 13.


Councilman Mark Treyger is advocating for a remote option.

"Inevitably, there are going to be cases where kids have to quarantine," Treyger said. "The question is, what happens during those days? Who is responsible for instruction?"

In a statement, the New York City Department of Education simply said "learning will continue" for students in quarantine, but provided no details on how.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deemed the Tri-State Area a high transmission area because of the spread of the contagious Delta variant.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is doubling down on his decision to require masks in school.

"Parents are starting to get really concerned. 'Should I really get this vaccine for my children?'" said Dr. Jeffrey Bienstock from Pediatric Care Associates.

WEB EXTRA: Watch The Full Interview With Pediatrician Dr. Jeffrey Bienstock

Cline-Thomas posed common questions that families have to Dr. Bienstock.

"Is the vaccine safe?" Cline-Thomas asked.

"We know that these people that are vaccinated will be healthier than people that are not," Dr. Bienstock said.

"We haven't had the vaccines long enough to know five years, 10 years, 20 years down the line what taking this vaccine could mean," said Cline-Thomas.

"We don't know what's coming, but what we do know is what we see in front of us. And what we see in front of us is, if we're vaccinated, we're protected," said Bienstock. "If we're protected, we will be around five, 10 or 20 years from now."

Click here to watch the full interview with Dr. Bienstock.

Editor's note: This story first appeared on August 9.

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