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Brooklyn’s COVID cases stabilize, vaccination rate still lags

covid-19
A man receives a COVID-19 vaccine in New York City.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The troubling rise in recent COVID-19 cases across Brooklyn has seemingly leveled-off, yet the borough continues to lag behind other New York City areas in vaccination rates. 

Kings County has recorded 560 new cases per-day over the seven day period ending on Aug. 27, marking a slight decline from the three-month peak of 630 infections per-day recorded earlier in the month, according to Health Department data.

Each day over that seven day stretch, 15 Brooklynites were hospitalized, and three died, due to COVID-19 infections. 

Across the Five Boroughs, the city recorded 1,703 new cases, 58 hospitalizations, and 11 deaths each day between Aug. 21 and Aug. 27.  

Borough

7-Day Average COVID Cases

Citywide 1,703
Brooklyn 560
Bronx 286
Manhattan 317
Queens 381
Staten Island 156

Experts caution observers, however, that many new COVID-19 infections may not be recorded by Health Department data, because of the significant chance that so-called “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated-yet-infected individuals may not know they have contracted the virus, and therefore will not receive a test or report their case. 

Brooklyn ranks fourth among the Five Boroughs in per-capita transmission rate, with around 153.01 new cases per 100,000 people over the previous seven days — only better than Staten Island, which has seen 229.97 cases per 100,000 during the same time frame. 

Borough

7-Day Cases Per 100,000 Residents

Citywide 142.99
Brooklyn 153.01
Bronx 141.09
Manhattan 136.18
Queens 118.29
Staten Island 229.97

Much of the driver behind Brooklyn’s relatively porous efforts to curb COVID-19 rests with the comparatively low vaccination rates among borough residents. 

Brooklyn and the Bronx are tied for last among the per-capita number of residents who have received the jab — with both boroughs seeing just 57 percent of locals receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. 

The same measure sees Staten Island with 60 percent, Queens with 72 percent, and Manhattan with an impressive 76 percent of inoculated residents. 

Citywide, 65 percent of New Yorkers are partially vaccinated, and 58 percent are fully immunized.

Borough

% of Vaccinated Residents 

Citywide 65%
Brooklyn 57%
Bronx 57%
Manhattan 76%
Queens 72%
Staten Island 60%

In Brooklyn, the Health Department recorded 1,468,378 people with at least one dose, out of 2,559,903 total residents. 

The lower rates of dose distribution are not evenly spread across the borough, however — with much of central and southern Brooklyn lagging behind the northern half of Kings County. 

Sunset Park’s 11220 Zip Code — which includes Brooklyn’s Chinatown — has seen 86.2 percent of residents inoculated, which is more than any other in the borough. 

Likewise, Zip Codes covering affluent neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint have seen high rates of vaccination, with 80.39 percent and 78 percent of locals receiving at least one dose, respectively. 

The five Zip Codes in Brooklyn with the highest rates of vaccination are:

Zip Code

Neighborhood

% Vaccinated

11220 Sunset Park 86%
11201 Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo 80%
11222 Greenpoint 78%
11238 Prospect Heights 76%
11215 Park Slope 70%

On the other end of the spectrum, Zip Codes covering Borough Park, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Midwood, Crown Heights, and Canarsie have seen significantly lower inoculation rates than the citywide total — ranging from 43 to 47 percent of residents receiving at least one dose. 

The five Zip Codes in Brooklyn with the lowest rates of vaccination are:

Zip Code

Neighborhood

% Vaccinated

11219 Borough Park 43%
11233 Bed-Stuy/Brownsville 45%
11210 Midwood 46%
11213 Crown Heights 47%
11236 Canarsie 47%

The COVID-19 numbers come as New York City public schools gear up for a return to full in-person learning, when thousands of children — including kids under the age of 12, who are all unvaccinated — will return to the classroom on Sept. 13. 

Masks will be required to be worn, and all teachers will need to be vaccinated, after Mayor Bill de Blasio instituted a mandate on Aug. 23. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview on Aug. 29 that he would support a vaccination requirement for all students over the age of 12, although no decision has been made in the Five Boroughs on that front. 

Outside of the classroom, local officials are hopeful that vaccination rates will increase once a similar mandate takes effect on Sept. 13 requiring all patrons of indoor restaurants, bars, gyms, museums, and more to provide proof of vaccination. 

Meanwhile, elected officials continue to push for New Yorkers to get the jab, as well as continue to take other anti-COVID precautions — highlighting the Delta variant to press the immediacy for the problem.

“The most effective way that unvaccinated people can protect themselves and their loved ones is to get vaccinated,” said de Blasio at an Aug. 25 press conference. “And the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant is why we strongly recommend that even fully vaccinated people take some precautions such as wearing a mask in public, indoor settings.”

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