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Manhattan has more COVID-19 vaccine sites than NYC other boroughs

Manhattan has more COVID-19 vaccine sites than NYC other boroughs

Bill de Blasio has been decrying a haves and have-nots, “Tale of Two Cities” New York ever since he first ran for mayor — but this is one chapter he may have written.

There are more vaccination sites in Manhattan than anywhere else in the Big Apple, despite Hizzoner’s repeated promises that so-called “outer-borough” equity would sit at the center of his vaccine distribution strategy, data obtained by The Post reveals.

Manhattan is home to 125 sites where New Yorkers can receive the much-sought COVID-19 vaccination, substantially more than any other borough, an analysis of city records shows.

Brooklyn only has 91 jab sites despite being home to 2.6 million people — 1 million more than Manhattan. The situation is only moderately better in Queens, population 2.3 million, which has 106 vaccination locations spread across the city’s largest borough by land area.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, watches as Pastor Darryl Frazier, second from left, and State Sen. Leroy Comrie get a COVID-19 vaccine
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, watches as Pastor Darryl Frazier, second from left, and State Sen. Leroy Comrie get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Seth Wenig/AP

The Bronx — the city’s poorest borough — has just 69 spots to receive the inoculation. That’s half the number in Manhattan, despite having roughly the same population.

“This is shameful. This is ridiculous,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.

“This disparity has been a problem going back to testing sites,” he added, referring to Post reporting last year that revealed much of the city’s COVID testing during the early days of the pandemic was taking place in wealthy and white neighborhoods. “I would have hoped we would have learned a lesson about the lack of testing in these communities.”

Staten Island, which has more than a million fewer residents than Manhattan, has 22 vaccination sites.

The Post obtained the list of the publicly and privately run vaccine spots on Feb. 12 — the date of the last major expansion of the city’s distribution network — and then matched the ZIP codes for each of the 413 locations with the corresponding demographic information.

People wait in line to get vaccinated at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Queens.
People wait in line to get vaccinated at a mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Queens.
Seth Wenig/AP

The findings come after the city’s Health Department released data that showed the coronavirus vaccine rollout was having far more success in wealthy and white neighborhoods than working-class and minority parts of New York.

“We have a tendency to centralize everything into Manhattan and that’s part of the problem. It moves forward the inequity,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who represented Brooklyn’s Flatbush on the City Council for years before his election to citywide office.

“It’s frustrating to watch those things,” Williams told The Post. “The system is not working and it’s making inequity worse from infection to injection.”

The paper’s analysis revealed that vaccine access disparities are readily apparent inside Manhattan too.

More than three-quarters of the borough’s vaccine spots are located in ZIP codes that include the largely white neighborhoods south of 110th Street, while only 26 of the 125 are in Harlem or other predominately minority neighborhoods north of Central Park.

That holds citywide.

Half of the vaccine locations listed on the city’s vaccine finder — 202 of the 413 — are in ZIPs that are in neighborhoods where whites are the largest group, even though they only account for 32 percent of the Big Apple’s population.

People wait in line for a vaccine hub at 125 Worth Street to open.
People wait in line for a vaccine hub at 125 Worth St. to open.
Stephen Yang

De Blasio again reiterated his focus on borough fairness when it comes to vaccine distribution during his daily press briefing on Wednesday.

“When it comes to vaccination, we’re focused on equity,” he told reporters. “We’re focused on making sure that people who have been in the neighborhoods that suffered the most from COVID, get access to the vaccination, get the support they need the information they need, the answers they need, the outreach they need.”

Reached by The Post about the analysis, City Hall claimed the massive disparities in access were linked to decisions by state and federal officials to put private pharmacies like Duane Reade and CVS at the forefront of the mass vaccination effort.

Corporate and mom-and-pop drug stores accounted for 294 of the 413 locations listed in the city’s data, records show.

“Chain pharmacies like Duane Reade, while critical to our vaccination effort, are overwhelmingly located in predominantly white and wealthy neighborhoods and reflect the broader disparities of our healthcare system,” said de Blasio administration spokeswoman Avery Cohen.

She said the city has tried to improve access by opening nearly 50 vaccination sites across the five boroughs — including high profile setups at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, which is run in coordination with New York State and non-profit provider Somos Community Care.

Bottles fo the COVID-19 vaccine are ready to be prepared before the opening of a mass vaccination site in Queens.
Bottles of the COVID vaccine seen before the opening of a mass vaccination site in Queens.
Seth Wenig/Pool via Reuters

Despite the effort, infuriated outerborough politicians said the stats show their neighborhoods are being left behind once again during the pandemic.

“During the height of the pandemic, Manhattan had a floating hospital that was nearly empty while people were dying in crowded hospital hallways in Brookdale and [SUNY] Downstate,” said Councilwoman Alicka Ampry-Samuel (D-Brooklyn), who represents the hardscrabble Brownsville neighborhood. “This horrendous but not surprising information can certainly help explain some of the imbalance in vaccination.”

Additional reporting by Carl Campanile and Reuven Fenton

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Evan Lewis

With a knack for storytelling, Evan started News Brig about a year ago. Covering substantial topics under the Sports,, he helps information seep in deeper with creative writing and content management skills.

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