NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York City's COVID-19 infection rate is 1.33%, but it's much higher in locations where vaccination rates are low.
Now we are getting a picture of how many lives have been saved by the vaccine.
A Yale University study found the city's vaccination effort through the beginning of this month prevented a quarter-million COVID cases, 44,000 hospitalizations, and 8,300 deaths.
They're using the numbers to try to encourage those who are still reluctant about getting the shots.
"It's really striking and painful to look at how many more New Yorkers would have gotten COVID, how many more would have been in the hospital, how many more we would have lost, would have passed away. This vaccination effort saved thousands and thousands of lives," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
NYC Health Commissioner David Chokshi says what keeps him up at night is thinking of the New Yorkers who are not vaccinated.
"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."
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."
Federal data is showing the towns in New Jersey with the highest number of unvaccinated adults.
Some of the larger communities have the lowest vaccination rates.
Lakewood and Phillipsburg show the lowest numbers in our area, with only 39% of adults vaccinated.
New Brunswick, Irvington, and East Orange are not far behind.
The communities have low numbers despite nearly 70% of New Jersey adults are fully vaccinated.
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MORE CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 COVERAGE
New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus
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