Manhattan, NY

Manhattan has the highest vaccination rate of any New York county, but outer boroughs lag behind

Betsy Ladyzhets

As vaccine mandates come into effect for many New York City workers, vaccination rates differ significantly across the city.

Manhattan has the highest vaccination rate of any New York county, with over 81% of residents receiving at least one vaccine dose. More than nine in ten adults in the borough are vaccinated, according to state data.
Manhattan has the highest vaccination rate of any New York county, as over 81% of residents have received at least one dose.New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Queens has the second-highest vaccination rate, with about 79% of residents receiving at least one dose. Staten Island’s rate is 66%, while the Bronx’s rate is 65%, and Brooklyn comes in last at 63%.

Only Manhattan and Queens have higher vaccination rates than the overall New York state average, which is 71% as of September 21. About 64% of New York state residents are fully vaccinated.

Several counties in the city’s suburbs have higher vaccination rates than the NYC boroughs. In the Long Island counties, Nassau and Suffolk, 78% and 71% of the populations have received their first doses, respectively. In Westchester County, 76% of residents have received at least one dose.

These geographic vaccination disparities come as city agencies and private businesses begin to enforce vaccine mandates.

The mandate for teachers and staff in New York City public schools has been delayed to Monday, October 4 after a federal judge briefly blocked the requirement. An appeals court ruled, on September 27, that the mandate could go forward.

Critics of the public school mandate have said that NYC public schools must prepare for massive staff shortages, as any staffers who aren’t vaccinated by October 4 will be unable to show up for work. But thus far, the mandate seems to be convincing many Department of Education employees to get their shots.

About 89% of all NYC school staff are now vaccinated with at least one dose, city press officer Danielle Filson announced on September 29. Among teachers, the vaccination rate is 92%; and among principals, it’s 97%.

The situation is similar for healthcare workers across New York state, who must be vaccinated as of Monday, September 27.

According to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, 92% of hospital staff had received at least one dose as of the Monday deadline. That’s up from 77% a little over a month ago, on August 24. Similarly, 92% of nursing home staff are now vaccinated—up from 71% on August 24. In adult care facilities, 89% of staff are vaccinated.

High vaccination rates among healthcare and school workers suggest that vaccine mandates may be a tool to get more New Yorkers vaccinated, especially in the communities with lower inoculation rates.

Data from a recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey back up this trend. In a mid-September poll, the health research organization found that an employer vaccine mandate was a “major” reason for COVID-19 vaccination among 19% of American adults who got vaccinated after June 1. An employer mandate was the “main” reason for vaccination among 8% of adults.

The biggest motivator for vaccination, however, was an increase in cases due to the Delta variant — tied to hospitals becoming overwhelmed and, for some, friends and family members becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.
The COVID-19 surge caused by the Delta variant has been a major motivator for vaccination in recent months.Kaiser Family Foundation

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Betsy Ladyzhets is a science, health, and data journalist currently focused on tracking the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work has appeared in Science News, MIT Technology Review, the COVID Tracking Project, Slate, and other publications. At NewsBreak, she covers science, health, and environmental issues in New York City. She also runs an independent publication on COVID-19 data:

Brooklyn, NY

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