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New York City's New Vaccine Mandate Also Impacts Kids 5-11

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Sweeping new New York City rules announced Monday also include a vaccine mandate for kids 5-11 years old.

It's drawing mixed reaction from parents.

As CBS2's Christina Fan reported, at Twinkle Playspace in East Williamsburg, owner Vanessa Yee-Chan has already spent thousands of dollars retrofitting her business for a COVID world. A new city mandate next week will likely cost her thousands more.

"We will probably have to give back a lot of money for deposits, and all the prep that we've done. There are going to be cancellations," Yee-Chan said.

Beginning Dec. 14, kids 5-11 must show proof of at least one dose for indoor dining, fitness, or entertainment. The same will also apply for high-risk extracurricular activities in schools.

Parents Monday were not all on board.


"I felt glad when it was required for adults, and now the kids are able, I would prefer it," said mother Erica Garber.

"I think it's tough because everyone has their own right. It's their child. And they should have the right to do what's right for their child," said mother Iwona Hartley.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new measures are necessary as the city prepares for a winter surge and concerns over the Omicron variant grow.

So far, only 20% of young New Yorkers have been vaccinated.

"Case rates are currently highest among our 5-11-year-olds, but we can change this and indeed parents have already vaccinated over 130,000 Kids since 5-11-year-olds became eligible," said Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi.

The New York City Hospitality Alliance said the mandates place a huge inconvenience on small businesses, especially during the holidays when out-of-town tourists will not be able to meet the requirements in time. Yee-Chan said it has been a struggle telling angry families she can't bend the rules.

"We have had several inspectors come by during a surprise inspection and really enforce it," she said.

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