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Crunching the COVID-19 Numbers: NYC reaching historic lows, but vaccination slows to crawl

Registered Nurse Sheba Phillip prepares a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during a vaccination event for local adolescents and adults outside the Bronx Writing Academy school in the Bronx on June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Mike Segar

The spread of COVID-19 in New York City has slowed to a crawl — but so has the wave of people seeking vaccinations against the virus, according to the latest city Health Department data.

Not a single ZIP code in the five boroughs has a 7-day positivity rate above 2%, and 17 areas across the city didn’t log a single new COVID-19 infection between June 4-10. Approximately 157 ZIP codes across New York City also registered a 7-day positivity rate of 1% or lower.

Additionally, only three ZIP codes in New York City registered 20 or more new COVID-19 cases over the past week. Two of the areas are in the Bronx: Morris Heights/Mount Hope/University Heights (10453) with 26 cases and Claremont/Morrisania (10456) with 21. The Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brighton Beach/Manhattan Beach/Sheepshead Bay (11235) had 20.

New York City Health Department

The continued low levels of COVID-19 across the city are further evidence that the vaccination effort has made a clear impact on reducing infections and moving the five boroughs into a full reopening. So far, 53% of the city’s population has had at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two doses), and 47% are fully vaccinated — that represents approximately 3,885,981 of the city’s 8,336,817 residents.

Still, that leaves in excess of 4 million New Yorkers who have yet to receive the vaccine. And while the city has offered all kinds of incentives to encourage residents to get the shot, the number of New Yorkers who have rolled up their sleeves have dropped dramatically in recent weeks.

After the vaccination effort peaked on April 8, when a record 116,571 New Yorkers received doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on a single day, just 25,720 people got a shot on June 11, according to the city’s Health Department. 

New York City Health Department

Citywide, Manhattan and Queens continue to dominate the vaccine race, with 65% of Manhattanites having received at least one dose and 58% fully vaccinated. In Queens, 59% of residents have gotten at least the first shot, and now a majority of residents (51%) are fully vaccinated.

The Bronx continues to have the lowest percentage of New Yorkers with at least one shot (44%) and fully vaccinated (38%). 

New York City Health Department

Nine of the top 10 ZIP codes in New York City with the highest percentages of residents with at least one dose are in Manhattan, with two communities — the Financial District (10004) and Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown Manhattan (10018) registering 100% rates. The 10004 ZIP code also had the highest fully vaccinated rate in the city, at 94%.

The only ZIP code outside of Manhattan in the top 10 for at least one dose recipients is Flushing/Murray Hill/Queensboro Hill (11355), which registered 86% of residents. The fully vaccinated rate there is 74%.

New York City Health Department

In terms of the raw number of residents with the COVID-19 vaccine, Elmhurst, Queens — once the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic at its spring 2020 peak in New York — has the highest number of vaccinated residents in the city. Approximately 70,165 residents have at least one dose, and 60,186 are fully vaccinated.

Four other Queens communities are in the top 10 citywide in number of fully vaccinated residents: Flushing/Murray Hill/Queensboro Hill (11355 – 57,975); Woodside (11377 – 49,247); Corona/North Corona (11368 – 48,008); and Ridgewood/Glendale (11385 – 42,175). 

New York City Health Department

Meanwhile, seven of the 10 New York City ZIP codes with the lowest fully vaccinated rates are in Brooklyn. Yet the area with the lowest fully vaccinated rate is in Queens: the Edgemere/Far Rockaway area (11691) with 27% of its 66,856 residents (18,124) having received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines (or the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine). 

The seven Brooklyn areas in the bottom 10 are Borough Park (11219 – 29% fully vaccinated, 26,323 of 90,083 residents); Canarsie (11236 – 30% fully vaccinated, 28,978 of 97,117 residents); Flatlands/Midwood (11210 – 30% fully vaccinated, 19,630 of 65,687 residents); Ocean Hill/Brownsville (11212 – 30% fully vaccinated, 22,362 of 73,967 residents); Bedford-Stuyvesant (11233 – 30% fully vaccinated, 22,484 of 74,323 residents); Crown Heights (11213 – 31% fully vaccinated, 20,109 of 64,601 residents); and Midwood (11230 – 32% fully vaccinated, 28,134 of 88,889 residents). 

New York City Health Department

Though COVID-19 infection rates have slowed to historic lows, the virus continues to sicken scores of people every week, and the virus itself remains fatal to some who become infected. Three of the eight people in New York state who died of COVID-19 on June 12 resided in the city — two in Queens and one in Brooklyn. 

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