NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A new Yale University study shows that New York City's vaccination effort from the start to July 1 prevented a quarter million COVID cases and 8,300 deaths.
Mayor Bill de Blasio released some compelling numbers on why he says people may want to consider getting vaccinated if they haven't, though pockets of vaccine hesitancy still exist across the Big Apple.
Officials say the study, compiled by epidemiologists at Yale University and supported by the Commonwealth Fund, illustrates how well vaccines work at preventing hospitalization and death.
Between January 1, 2021, and June 15, 2021, 98.4% of hospitalizations (36,628 out of 37,211) and 98.8% of deaths (8,069 out of 8,163) from COVID-19 infection were in those who were not fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated people accounted for just 1.6% (583) of hospitalizations and 1.2% (94) of deaths.
The epidemiologists estimated that New York City's vaccination campaign has prevented about 250,000 COVID-19 cases, 44,000 hospitalizations. and 8,300 deaths from COVID-19 infection since the start of vaccination through July 1, 2021.
"Vaccines are safe and astonishingly effective at protecting you and your loved ones," said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. "Our city has been through too much suffering to allow hospitalizations and death to needlessly continue. The stakes are so high, and we simply cannot emphasize enough how urgent it is for New Yorkers to get vaccinated."
More than 4.3 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, but skepticism remains, many times along political lines. Some areas of Staten Island have the lowest vaccination rates in the city.
In Tottenville, where only 40.64% of the population is vaccinated, the shot is a touchy subject.
"Just afraid of the rumors I'm hearing," one resident said.
"You guys can be the test subjects," another said.
"A lot of people are ignorant," said another. "It comes down to common sense."
That's a source of frustration for those who did get the vaccine.
"You have all these people that don't believe and think everything is fake," resident Mary Decrescenzo said. "They don't trust anything anymore."
A man who happens to be named Frank Sinatra is one of them.
"Who are you really gonna believe?" he said. "I'm saying to myself, why should I get a vaccine and get sick again?"
He says he already had the virus and prefers to fight future COVID his way.
Despite the numbers, Jehna Sela still refuses.
"You would literally have to put a gun to my head to get the vaccine," she said. "I'm not going to inject something in my body that's so forced and promoted like crazy. Free pizza, free donuts."
And that's even though she works as a nurse assistant in a hospital with COVID patients, in an area on Staten Island with a seven-day average positivity rate of 4.86%, one of the highest in the city.
"So many coworkers are against it, too," she said. "They just don't speak about it."
In an area on Staten Island.. with a 7 Day Average Positivity Rate of 4.86 percent.. one of the highest in the city.
During the first two months of eligibility for New Yorkers aged 65 and older, the city's vaccination program reduced hospitalizations from COVID-19 by approximately 15%.
New York City has deployed temporary, roaming vaccination sites across the city and is offering at-home vaccinations.
Appointments at vaccination sites are not required, but you can book an appointment at many of these sites in advance online or by calling 877-VAX-4NYC.
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