De Blasio insists NYC vaccine equity issues will even out ‘over time’

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday insisted that the massive gap in COVID-19 vaccinations between residents of the Big Apple’s rich and poor neighborhoods will be cured in the coming weeks — even as city data continues to show a massive lag.

“I think that difference is closing over time,” de Blasio said in response to questions at his daily press conference.

“We want to do everything to help close it more, and I believe when we get into the height of vaccination, which will be, you know, this month, next month, June — as we really are getting ample supply, I think you’re going to see that gap close more and more.”

Data from the city’s Health Department shows that residents who live in poor, often minority neighborhoods are getting jabbed with one of the three coronavirus vaccines at just a fraction of the rate as those in richer, whiter neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Just 21 percent of the residents in the Far Rockaways’ zip code of 11691 have gotten at least one shot, compared to an astonishing 64 percent of the residents who live in the Upper East Side’s 10075.

A previous Post analysis revealed that Manhattan’s core of wealthy neighborhoods, which sit south of 110th Street, are home to a disproportionate number of the public and private healthcare institutions and pharmacies dispensing the vaccine.

De Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have repeatedly promised to tackle the gulf between New York’s haves and have-nots when it comes to vaccine access, but the large disparities remain.

Hizzoner chalked up some of the problem to a lack of trust in low-vaccine neighborhoods about inoculations as well as the larger healthcare system.

A January survey — at the beginning of the vaccine rollout — found that nearly 80 percent of white New Yorkers were willing to get the shots as soon as they were available, an opinion held by just 39 percent of black respondents.

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking in Central Park on March 16, 2021.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking in Central Park on March 16, 2021.
Matthew McDermott

In response, the city Health Department announced it would dedicate a substantial portion of its $8 million a month public service campaign budget to tackling the issue.

“There has been a disparity in willingness and all the other challenges that go with an unequal society,” de Blasio said. “But our job is to overcome that, to go out in communities, to create grassroots sites, to do the door-to-door efforts, to do homebound seniors, all the things that we think will help to bring more fairness, equality to the process.”

And, he added: “Over time, I do think it will even up quite a bit.”

Top 10 least vaccinated zip codes:

  • Far Rockaway/Hillcrest (11691) – 21.41%
  • Hunts Point (10474) – 22.70%
  • Laurelton/SE Queens (11413) – 23.44%
  • BedStuy/Crown Heights (11233) – 23.49%
  • East New York (11207) – 23.65%
  • Brownsville (11212) – 23.66%
  • Rosedale/SE Queens (11422) – 23.88%
  • Canarsie (11236) – 23.98%
  • East New York (11208) – 24.15%
  • Borough Park (11219) – 24.19%
  • Crown Heights (11213) – 24.40%

Credit: NYPOST

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