Six of the 10 New York City ZIP codes with the highest COVID-19 positivity rates over the past week had less than half of their population vaccinated against the virus, according to the latest Health Department data.
The latest figures come as the Delta variant continues to spread across the city, accounting for more than a quarter of all new COVID-19 cases reported in the five boroughs over the past four weeks. The variant, considered to be more contagious and potent than standard COVID-19, poses a particularly serious risk to the health of unvaccinated individuals.
The available vaccines — either the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson shot or the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna serums — are effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19 and other forms of the virus. Though even vaccinated people can still contract COVID-19, the antibodies built up in their immune systems from the vaccine are effective at preventing serious, life-threatening symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 99% of all June COVID-19 deaths across the U.S. involve unvaccinated people.
Over the past week, Cypress Hills and East New York, Brooklyn (ZIP code 11208) had the most new COVID-19 cases in New York City, with 33 reported between July 1-7, resulting in a 2.89% 7-day positivity rate. But the city’s Health Department also reported that just 44% of eligible residents in the community had received one dose of the vaccine, and just 39% of residents are fully vaccinated.
Similarly, four areas of Staten Island in the city’s top 10 list of highest 7-day COVID-19 positivity rates also registered fully vaccinated rates below 50%.
Yet the top 10 list also includes two neighborhoods where the fully vaccinated rate exceeded 60%: City Island, Bronx (10464, 4.35% 7-day positivity, 3 new cases, 61% fully vaccinated) and Douglaston/Little Neck, Queens (11363, 3.45% 7-day positivity, 2 new cases, 69% fully vaccinated).
The sample sizes, however, were small for these and other areas listed in the July 1-7 COVID-19 testing data, as the Health Department reported that many of them did not provide an adequate testing sample. In other words, not enough people in these areas received a COVID-19 test to provide a more accurate picture on the virus’ spread during the period.
Nevertheless, the city’s Health Department reported that 24 neighborhoods in the five boroughs had a fully vaccinated rate below 40% as of July 11. Edgemere/Far Rockaway, Queens (11691) has the lowest rate in the entire city, at 32% fully vaccinated and 36% of residents having received one dose. Ironically, however, the area had just four new cases and a 0.53% 7-day positivity rate between July 1-7, one of the lowest in the entire city.
Overall, nearly 4.4 million New Yorkers are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Manhattan continues to have the highest percentage of fully vaccinated residents of any borough at 64%, followed by Queens at 58%, Staten Island at 49%, Brooklyn at 46% and the Bronx at 43%.