Vaccination Rates in N.Y.C., and One Major Disparity
[Want to get New York Today by email? Here’s the sign-up.] It’s Friday. Weather: Partly sunny, with a chance of late storms. High in the mid …
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Weather: Partly sunny, with a chance of late storms. High in the mid-90s, but it could seem like it’s 105. The weekend brings relief — mid-80s on Saturday, spotty storms; low 80s on Sunday, some sun.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sunday (Feast of the Assumption).
Credit…James Estrin/The New York Times
Jayson Clemons, a Queens resident, says he has enough to worry about. He tries to avoid cars with tinted windows or fancy rims to avoid giving the police a reason to stop him, and he ensures he can clearly be identified as a construction worker on his commute.
So he refuses to let the coronavirus dominate his list of preoccupations. “I’m supposed to worry about getting sick when I go outside, versus getting killed by a cop or something like that?” said Mr. Clemons, 41, who is not vaccinated.
As the Delta variant rapidly spreads, disparities in vaccination rates remain a concern. Only 28 percent of Black New Yorkers ages 18 to 44 are fully vaccinated — a significantly lower rate than for residents from other demographics in that age bracket.
[Read more from my colleagues Joseph Goldstein and Matthew Sedacca about the disparity in vaccinations.]
Here’s what to know:
The imbalance in vaccination rates is stark. About 48 percent of Latino New Yorkers and 52 percent of white residents ages 18 to 44 are fully vaccinated.
The gap has worried health experts: The third wave of the virus, they fear, is likely to hit groups with the lowest inoculation rates the hardest — suggesting young Black residents could face some of the worst consequences of the resurgence.
My colleagues spoke with dozens of Black New Yorkers across the boroughs who offered a range of reasons for not getting vaccinated.
Many shared concerns that they could not rely on the government to take care of their health, with some mentioning their own present-day experiences with discrimination and others citing the nation’s long history of medical experimentation on Black people.
One of the three vaccines — the single-shot Johnson & Johnson — had been directed to clinics and pop-up sites in Black and Latino communities, among other places, for its ease. But its brief suspension in April because of health concerns affecting a small number of people fueled anxieties among some residents that the vaccines could not be trusted.
For months, the city’s vaccination campaign targeted older residents at higher risk of hospitalization and death. But lately, young New Yorkers have become more of a focus.
Many young Black New Yorkers who had not been vaccinated said they would do so if they were forced to. “If it’s going to be mandatory to work, I’ll have no choice,” said Kaleshia Sostre, a 27-year-old from Red Hook, Brooklyn, who teaches parenting classes to young mothers.
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A Times Virtual Event: What’s Next for New York?
Want more news? Check out our full coverage.
The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
A look at the circumstances that played a role in a teenager’s recent drowning at Rockaway Beach, including the absence of lifeguards in one section because of erosion. [The City]
A 25-year-old man was found unresponsive while detained on Rikers Island. He was arrested less than a week before his death. [Gothamist]
The Nassau County executive vetoed a bill that would have given the police commissioner the ability to sue citizens who harass officers or other first responders. [CBS New York]
And finally: Your social weekend
The Times’s Melissa Guerrero writes:
While people are still connecting through virtual events and programs, with the summer season here and more people getting vaccinated, venues and organizations are holding in-person events. Here are suggestions for maintaining a New York social life this weekend:
In-person: Small Press Flea
On Saturday at 10 a.m. in Brooklyn, Small Press Flea returns with a roster of local publishers and magazines.
Visit the event page for more info.
In-person: The G.L.I.T.S. picnic
On Saturday at 12 p.m. in Queens, join G.L.I.T.S., an organization supporting L.G.B.T.Q. people, for their inaugural community picnic, “Renew, Relax Rejoice,” featuring performances, self-defense courses, a plant exchange and more.
To R.S.V.P. for free, access the link on the organization’s Instagram page.
In-person or virtual: “Queer Memoir”
On Sunday at 4 p.m. in Manhattan, attend “Queer Memoir,” a storytelling event where storytellers will answer the question “What the hell was that about?”
Purchase tickets at the door ($18) or online ($15 advance, $5 livestream) at the event page.
It’s Friday — get out of the house.
Metropolitan Diary: Flustered
I was rushing to pick up an order at a restaurant in Chinatown and I was flustered when I came through the door.
“I’m picking up an order of rice rolls, milk tea and one other thing that I don’t remember,” I said to the host.
“Pickup for rice rolls, milk tea and a don’t-know-what!” he shouted to the back of the shop.
They found my order.
— SengMing Tan
Illustrated by Agnes Lee. Read more Metropolitan Diary here.
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