Half of New York adults have now received COVID vaccine

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ALBANY — About half of New Yorkers have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

But the state’s inoculation rate is declining.

The state Health Department has recorded more than 17 million total doses administered since December, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared “the most important metric” in rooting out the deadly virus — as the state optimistically pushes economic reopening efforts.

“How many people are we vaccinating? We’ve done 17 million shots in arms statewide, which is phenomenal when you think about it and that’s a function of all the good work that everyone has done,” he said during a Wednesday press conference in Buffalo. 

The DOH has tracked 116,093 shots in arms over the last 24 hours and 982,557 within a seven day period. 

Over 60 percent of people ages 18 and up have gotten at least one dose and 50 percent of that group — more than 7.8 million people — have been inoculated with either two Pfizer or Moderna doses, or the single Johnson & Johnson shot.

Forty percent of all New Yorkers eligible for the drug — ages 16 and older have only been approved since April 6 — have completed their vaccination schedule. 

Despite those good numbers, Cuomo said fewer New Yorkers are coming in for shots on average. 

“Fifty percent of the people in this state are now fully vaccinated, but the rate of people coming in for vaccinations has declined. That’s troubling,” he said. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced half the state has received the full COVID-19 vaccine, but the vaccination rate is declining.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced half the state has received the full COVID-19 vaccine, but the vaccination rate is declining.
Robert Miller

A month ago on April 12, the state showed 174,822 shots administered in one day and reported 1.5 million doses administered over a week.

“It’s partially explainable. People who were more eager to get a vaccine came in first, right? You have people who were very anxious about COVID and wanted to get a vaccine right away. They came in first and now you’re seeing the number slow and that’s what we’re fighting against now.”

Cuomo said the state is focusing on getting the “youthful and the doubtful” vaccinated. 

Just 26.7 percent of individuals in the 16 to 25 age group have been fully vaccinated, and of that cohort, 38.9 percent have received at least one shot.

The figure rises slightly for those 26 to 34 years of age, as 37 percent boast complete vaccination and 47.7 percent have gotten at least one shot. 

It’s a big drop compared to the 65 to 74 age category — 74.4 percent have been fully vaccinated and 84.4 percent have gotten at least one shot.

However, the state’s strict eligibility requirements starting in late 2020 excluded younger populations and specific professions from the list — prioritizing older, more vulnerable populations as well as essential workers.

The vaccination rate for nursing home workers is also vastly trailing the elderly and vulnerable residents they care for, with just 59 percent of staffers recorded as having received one or both shots, compared to 84 percent of facility residents statewide.

In the five boroughs some homes have reported upwards of 60 percent of workers still unvaccinated, according to state data.

Cuomo has been announcing incentives to the unvaccinated in recent weeks — with free transit tickets at pop-up clinics in the New York City subway system and on commuter rail, as well as offering free sports game tickets to those who get the shots at ballgames.

Overall, the Empire State’s daily positivity rate has been on the decline and presently rests at a 1.52 percent average, with the weekly average recorded at 1.34 percent. 

There are 2,026 patients currently hospitalized for the virus, with 491 admitted to the ICU. 

Thirty-two New Yorkers passed away from the virus Tuesday — as deaths nationwide hit their lowest rate in 10 months.

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