Over 8,300 Covid deaths prevented by NYC’s vaccination effort, study says

July 14, 2021

A vaccination site in Co-Op City in the Bronx on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

New York City’s coronavirus vaccination campaign saved more than 8,300 lives and averted roughly 250,000 cases and 44,000 hospitalizations, according to a new study by epidemiologists at Yale University. The analysis, which was supported by the Commonwealth Fund, determined the city’s swift rollout of the vaccine has “played a pivotal role in reducing the COVID-19 burden and in curbing surges from more transmissible emerging variants,” Dr. Alison Galvani, the director of the Yale Center for Infectious Disease Modeling and Analysis, said on Wednesday.

Courtesy of NYC Department of Health

“The more new yorkers who get vaccinated the better for them, and for the rest of the city,” said Galvani, who joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s press briefing on Wednesday.

The city’s Health Department also released new data that shows the efficacy of the vaccines. Between January 1 and June 15 of this year, 98.9 percent of new cases, 98.4 percent of hospitalizations, and 98.8 percent of deaths from COVID-19 were those who were not fully vaccinated, according to the department.

During that time period, fully vaccinated New Yorkers made up just 1.1 percent of new cases, 1.6 percent of hospitalizations, and 1.2 percent of deaths recorded.

However, inequities in vaccinations continue in New York City. Just 36 percent of Black adults are fully vaccinated compared to 53 percent of white adults and 79 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander New Yorkers.

Once the epicenter of the pandemic, New York City once saw over 5,000 new cases of the virus per day, more than 1,600 hospitalizations daily, and over 700 deaths some days.

The number of cases is rising again because of the Delta variant; as of July 9, there were 309 cases on a seven-day average, up about 72 cases from the week prior, according to the Health Department. Since about 64 percent of adults are fully vaccinated, health officials say the numbers won’t reach as high as during the peak of the crisis last spring.

“We still got a lot more to do, but what a distance we’ve traveled,” de Blasio said on Wednesday.

The city is ramping up its vaccination effort in 76 neighborhoods with the lowest vaccination rates. This includes more mobile vaccination sites in under-vaccinated neighborhoods, door-to-door canvassers, in-home vaccinations, working with local nonprofits, and encouraging doctors to reach out to patients directly.

Officials will focus on Staten Island, which currently has the highest positivity rate of any borough. As 6sqft reported, Dr. Dave Chokshi, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says the increase in case numbers is stemming from “unvaccinated individuals, particularly young people who remain unvaccinated.”

“The spread of the Delta variant means that it is perhaps the most dangerous time to be unvaccinated,” Chokshi said on Monday.


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