Almost all Asian New York City teen residents have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, data shows

FILE PHOTO: Adolescents receive COVID-19 vaccine
FILE PHOTO: Victoria Zaca, 12, receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a clinic run by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in partnership with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to encourage all eligible teenagers to get vaccinated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 18, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah Beier TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY/File Photo

Nearly all vaccine eligible children across the five boroughs who identify as Asian American, Native American, Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander have gotten at least one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, City data shows. 

According to numbers from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 99% of children between the ages of 13 and 17 who identify as Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, or Hawaiian have gotten at least the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only inoculation that has been given full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the use on children 16 years old and older and the only vaccine that has been granted an emergency use order from the agency on kids 12 to 15. 

And while there is no vaccine mandate in New York City for children, officials have worked throughout the summer and early fall to boost vaccination rates among kids by offering $100 incentives for getting vaccinated, placing temporary vaccination sites at 700 middle and high schools, and requiring all student-athletes to get the inoculation before beginning competitive play.  

Out of all New Yorkers who have chosen to get vaccinated against COVID-19 due to City incentives like $100 in cash or raffle giveaways, about 20% have been under the age of 18, according to the DOHMH

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization on the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 and older in May, over 349,000 kids have gotten jabs in arms. 

City children between 13 and 17 years old identifying as Latino have the second-highest rate of vaccination at 73% followed by Black children at 47% and white teens at 44%, according to the data. 

“Parental vaccination status…really dictates whether their child is going to get vaccinated, ” New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene First Deputy Commissioner Dr. Torian Easterling told amNewYork Metro. Working to correct misinformation around the vaccine’s efficacy on children and dispelling fears about side effects is essential to boosting vaccination rates among children, Easterling added. 

“It relies on sort of a multi-pronged strategy that really has to start with how are we educating and speaking to parents, to make sure that they understand how important, how safe and effective it is for their children to get to protect the health and safety of not only the child but the family as well, but particularly those who are not eligible for the vaccine, ” Easterling said. Throughout the fall, health officials will continue to try to educate parents by making home visits, phone banking, sending out mass text messages, mailers, and emails. 

For the most part, vaccination rates among children of a particular race or ethnic group line up closely with rates among adults of the same race or ethnicity. 

Close to 95% of Asian New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 44 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine while and 94% of Asian Americans 45 to 64 are at least partially vaccinated while the rates among the elderly, 65 and older, dipped to 84%, according to City numbers. 

The rate of vaccination among Black New Yorkers 18 to 44 was nearly identical to the rate among teenagers while about 60% of those 45 and up reported having gotten at least one dose. 

The number of Latino New Yorkers reported having gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine ages 18 to 44 is just slightly higher than the number of teens who are partially vaccinated. The highest rate of vaccination among Latinos is among people between the ages of 45 to 64 at 80% reporting to have gotten at least one dose while data shows that 67% of Latinos 65 and older have gotten at least one jab. 

The percentage of white New Yorkers 18 and older claiming to have gotten at least the first jab of a COVID-19 vaccine hovers around 61% for all three older age groups. 

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