Virus numbers are surging. Why is New York’s vaccine rollout sluggish?

By | January 1, 2021

The New York Times reports:

As the final hours ticked away in a harrowing year, New York City on Thursday once again found itself in a worrying position in the pandemic: Hospitalizations were climbing for the fourth consecutive month, the positive test rate in some areas had doubled and vaccinations that were supposed to bring normalcy had gotten off to a slow start.

Across the city, where the positive test rate over a seven-day average reached 8.87, the virus continued its winter surge.

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the positive test rate in the most recent seven-day average in one ZIP code had reached 14.71. A section of Ozone Park in Queens had a city-high 15.61 positive test rate. In the Bronx, the boroughwide rate had reached 9.56 — and yet that was still lower than Staten Island’s 10.34 rate.

In all, 49 ZIP codes in the city had a positive test rate of 10 or higher in the latest seven-day average, and the city has averaged nearly 4,000 cases and about 40 deaths a day.

So far the second wave has climbed more slowly and has not reached anywhere near the magnitude of New York City’s disastrous first wave in the spring — when more than 20,000 people died and 20 percent of city residents may have been infected. But public health experts say that there is urgent need to speed up the rollout of the vaccine to hasten the end of New York’s epidemic before hospitals are overwhelmed or a new and more contagious variant of the virus makes inroads. [Continue reading…]

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