COVID-19 vaccination rate of New York seniors lags

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COVID-19 vaccination rate of New York seniors lags


New York is behind the rest of the country in vaccinating people over 65 against the coronavirus, according to the latest statistics from the CDC.

The Empire State ranks 44th in the country for the percentage of people over 65 who have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data.

Across the country, the elderly have been given priority immunization, and 73% of Americans over 65 have now received at least one dose.

But in New York, the number of seniors with a dose under their sleeve is only 67%.

New York is doing a much better job of vaccinating residents between the ages of 18 and 65. The state ranks 9th in the union on this metric.

A member of the US Army National Guard rolls over an elderly resident who arrives to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in central Westchester County in White Plains.
A member of the US Army National Guard rolls over an elderly resident who arrives to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in central Westchester County in White Plains.
Mike Segar / Reuters

New York is also ranked 24th out of 50 states for immunizing its total adult population, according to federal data.

The contrast is worrying, say public policy experts.

“The disparity suggests that New York’s immunization policies and procedures give young people an advantage over other states,” Bill Hammond, Senior Fellow for Health Policy at the Empire Center, said in a press release on Friday.

Luz Ortega receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Stevenson Family Health Center in the Bronx.
Luz Ortega receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Stevenson Family Health Center in the Bronx.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The think tank speculates that the Cuomo administration’s vaccine prioritization of essential workers in December led to the disparity, as high-risk jobs like hospital workers tend to be held by younger people.

“It may have to do with the number of young New Yorkers competing for limited places at any given time, and the process of finding and scheduling a date, which gives computer connoisseurs an edge,” he said. Hammond said.

The only seniors who were able to get vaccinated initially when they became available were residents of long-term care facilities, as per Albany guidelines.

Jesus Rodriguez is sitting in the recovery area after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Corsi homes.
Jesus Rodriguez is sitting in the recovery area after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Corsi homes.
Mary Altaffer / AP

Starting Tuesday, all New Yorkers in the state aged 16 and over will be able to get the vaccine.

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