New York City neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 have lower vaccination rates
February 17, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City have the lowest vaccination rates against the virus, new Postal code data shows.
Neighborhoods in Queens like Corona – once called the “epicenter of the epicenter” of the pandemic – and Far Rockaway – where one in 11 diagnosed with COVID-19 – have particularly low vaccination rates compared to the rest of the city.
Only 3% of adults in Corona (11368) and 4% of adults in Far Rockaway (11691) received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to health data released on Tuesday.
Corona’s rate is half the overall vaccination rate in Queens – 6% of adults in Queens have received the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
The predominantly Hispanic immigrant community saw the highest number of deaths and most cases of COVID-19 in May.
Far Rockaway, a predominantly black community, had the city’s third highest death rate in May. According to city data, 410 residents of Far Rockaway have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have died about twice as many as white New Yorkers, and the death rate is rising as income levels decline in the boroughs, according to the city.
However, more white New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the potentially life-saving vaccine. According to city data, 43% of New Yorkers who received the first injection are white, while only 11% are black and 16% are Latino.
The disparity in deaths as well as vaccination rates is best illustrated when comparing one end of the Rockaway Peninsula to the other.
At the far end of Far Rockaway, Breezy Point (11697) – a predominantly white, affluent neighborhood where eight people have died from the coronavirus – has partially vaccinated 27% of its adult population.
The Rockaways did not have a city-run coronavirus testing site until about three months after the start of the pandemic.
Member of the Council at the time Donovan Richards said the delay cost lives.
Now, as president of Queens Borough, Richards is repeating his warning.
“The numbers don’t lie – the city’s own data shows communities of color in Queens and across New York City are vaccinated at remarkably lower rates than other areas, ”Richards wrote on Twitter. “But this distribution disparity is not only incredibly frustrating, it is potentially fatal.”
Other areas of southeast Queens, where many black residents live, also have low vaccination rates. Only 3 percent of adults in Springfield Gardens / Rochdale Village / St. Albans (11434), South Jamaica (11436), Laurelton (11413), Rosedale (11422) received their first injection.
“Much of this is about underlying painful disparities to start with and inequalities to begin with,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Tuesday. “People who have more privileges are better able to navigate [the vaccination] to treat.”