The New York Times reports that about 30% of adults in New York City are now at least partially vaccinated as health officials race to tame COVID-19.
There’s general agreement that community-led vaccination efforts are often the most effective, especially in neighborhoods in which there’s significant skepticism about Covid vaccines. One grassroots vaccination effort was led by the Lower East Side non-profit group, Vision Urbana. More than 1200 vaccinations were administered during a two-week period ending Friday.
Vision Urbana partnered with Primitive Christian Church and the Seward Park Co-op (which made its community room available for the pop-up site), as well as the city’s Department of Health. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was made available to some of the neighborhood’s most vulnerable residents, including low-income seniors, who have struggled to make appointments online and who have limited ability to travel outside the immediate area to vaccination sites.
According to the Times’ interactive map, 36% of the adult population on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown (zip code 10002) have received at least one dose. The Times noted that vaccination rates are substantially higher in the city’s wealthier neighborhoods and that “white and Asian New Yorkers have been vaccinated at higher rates than Black and Latino residents…” In the zip code, 26% of the population is Hispanic, 42% is Asian, 22% is white and 7% Black.
In a press release, Vision Urbana stated, “the Lower East Side is still in need of a trusted Vaccine Pod site… Over 72% of our waiting list are residents over the age of 50 years old, many with underlying conditions and unwilling or unable to leave their local neighborhood to get vaccinated. There are still many in this community who will be overlooked because of their lack of digital skills, ACCESS, and support.”