NY’s elderly COVID-19 vaccination rate lags behind

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    New York lags way behind the rest of the country when it comes to inoculating people over age 65 against the coronavirus, according to the latest CDC statistics.

    The Empire State ranks 44th in the country on the percentage of folks over 65 who have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, according to CDC data.

    Across the country, older people have been given vaccination priority, and 73 percent of Americans over 65 have now received at least one dose.

    But in NY, the number of seniors with one dose under their sleeves is just 67 percent.

    New York is doing a much better job at immunizing residents ages 18 to 65. The state ranks 9th in the union on that metric.

    A U.S. Army National Guard member wheels an elderly resident arriving to receive a COVID-19 vaccination shot at a mass vaccination site at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
    A U.S. Army National Guard member wheels an elderly resident arriving to receive a COVID-19 vaccination shot at a mass vaccination site at the Westchester County Center in White Plains.
    Mike Segar/Reuters

    New York also comes in 24th out of 50 states for vaccinating its total adult population, the federal data shows.

    The contrast is cause for concern, public policy experts contend.

    “The disparity suggests that New York’s vaccination policies and procedures are giving younger people an advantage relative to other states,” Bill Hammond, Senior Fellow for Health Policy at Empire Center, said in a press release Friday.

    Luz Ortega receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Stevenson Family Health Center in the Bronx.
    Luz Ortega receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at 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 filled with younger people.

    “This may relate to the number of younger New Yorkers who were competing for limited slots at any given time, and the process for finding and scheduling an appointment, which gives an edge to the computer-savvy,” Hammond said.

    The only older people who could get initially get a vaccination shot when they first became available were residents of long-term care facilities, under Albany’s guidelines.

    Jesus Rodriguez sits in the recovery area after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Corsi Houses.
    Jesus Rodriguez sits in the recovery area after receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Corsi Houses.
    Mary Altaffer/AP

    As of Tuesday, every New Yorker in the state aged 16 and over will be able to get vaccinated.



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