New York City recently reached a milestone for public health as over 85% of adults have received at least the first dose of their Covid vaccine. That leaves under 15% of adults yet to be vaccinated. Here’s what this major development means for the rest of the city, as well as for the health of America as a whole.
Number of Vaccinated NYC Adults Passes Major Milestone
Over six million New York City adults have received the first dose – if not both – of the Covid vaccine. As Mayor Bill de Blasio noted, “Today is going to be one of those milestone days in our fight against Covid.”
Why is this stage of vaccination so important? Many areas in the country are struggling to reach the same milestone, and NYC can serve as an example for other regions. De Blasio said he believes that “[…] in a lot of cases, it’s because their leaders didn’t do the right thing and didn’t focus on vaccination. Here, together, we did.”
This show of support for the vaccine is huge. While 75% of adults across America have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, some states are lagging behind. For example, only 49% of adults aged 18 to 64 in West Virginia have had at least one dose.
De Blasio went on to say, “Six million people who have gone and done the right thing for themselves, for their families, their community, gotten at least the first dose – a lot of those people, of course the cast majority, have gotten the second dose by now as well.”
Adults aren’t the only New Yorkers who are behind the vaccine – 75% of teens, age 12 to 18, have had at least the first dose of the vaccine. Just one million more New York City adults need to be vaccinated. For Mayor de Blasio, it appears that the incentives and mandates are working.
Getting Closer to Herd Immunity for Overall Health
While the high vaccination rates in NYC are encouraging and their incentive programs are something to learn from, they don’t necessarily represent the rest of the world. Epidemiologists estimated that we may reach herd immunity when 70% of the global population was vaccinated. Currently, 49.2% of people worldwide have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Some experts believe that herd immunity will only occur at a much higher rate. Dr. Thompson W. Liddell, MD, says that herd immunity requires the entire herd – not just 70%. As new variants arise, getting fully vaccinated, along with social distancing and masking, are still incredibly important.
Still, other experts are saying that we need over 85% of immunization in America to get close to herd immunity and protect public health. While it is a moving target, it appears that New York City is getting incredibly close and setting an example for other regions.
Mayor de Blasio noted that “as vaccinations have gone up, hospitalizations have gone down.” Ultimately, this is the result that we hope to see elsewhere, as more and more people get vaccinated in order to protect their own health, as well as the health of the public.