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New York City Booster Shot Data Shows Major Racial Disparities

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Much like the rest of the country, New York City has struggled to convince some groups of residents to get a booster shot of the coronavirus vaccine. But new data released by the city on Wednesday shows wide disparities among who in the city is getting a third dose.

Though millions of Americans flocked to get fully vaccinated, the number of people getting a booster shot has come up short. New York City now has the data to exemplify this: While 77 percent of all city residents have received either the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot or two doses of the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, only about 36 percent had received a booster shot as of Friday.

When looking at adults 18 and older, just 43 percent had gotten a booster. The rate was even lower for eligible children, ages 13 to 17: 21 percent.

The numbers also highlighted further inequalities by neighborhood and race. Almost half of Manhattan had been boosted, compared with just over a quarter of the Bronx.

And more than half of the city’s Asian and Native American residents had been boosted, while less than a quarter of Black residents were.

The share of residents who have received booster shots according to borough are:

The share of residents who have received booster shots according to race are:

  • Asian and Pacific Islander: 57 percent

  • Native American: 55 percent

  • White: 37 percent

  • Hispanic/Latino: 26 percent

  • Black: 24 percent

Booster shots have been shown to be 90 percent effective at preventing hospitalization from the overwhelmingly dominant Omicron variant, which is highly contagious and caused case rates across the country to surge this winter.

On Friday, Mark Levine, the Manhattan borough president, called on Twitter for the city to do more to close the disproportionate rates to protect its most at-risk residents.

“This leaves us vulnerable to a future wave,” Mr. Levine wrote. “We have to focus on this.”


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