TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
OpinionCommentary

A look at who's getting vaccinated in Nassau

Credit: Newsday/Kai Teoh

Nassau County is leading the race to full vaccination, as 46%, or 514,506 residents, had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by last week. That’s better than Suffolk County, which had as of last week vaccinated just 37% of its eligible residents, or the state, which was hovering just above that figure.

Both counties make their calculations based on those eligible for a shot, which is now all people over age 16.

According to Nassau’s latest data, broken down by ZIP codes, Massapequa’s 11758 had the most residents vaccinated – with 20,601 of them getting at least one shot. That represents 47% of the ZIP code’s 43,796 eligible residents.

ZIP codes in New Hyde Park, Levittown, Merrick and Hicksville rounded out the top five, all with more than 15,000 residents receiving at least one shot.

Ten different Nassau ZIP codes, including communities like Roslyn, Roslyn Heights, Plainview and Woodbury, have seen more than 60% of their residents vaccinated, the analysis showed. In relatively tiny Point Lookout, in ZIP code 11569, a stunning 71% of the eligible population has received at least one dose – 727 out of 1,021 residents. One explanation: About a third of Point Lookout’s residents are over the age of 65, so they qualified earlier and have had more opportunities to get the shot.

Unfortunately, some communities, including those with high minority populations and those hit hardest by the pandemic, are seeing less robust statistics. In Hempstead’s 11550, which has a very similar eligible population to Massapequa, just 10,247 residents received at least one dose – or 24% of the ZIP code’s 43,545 eligible residents. In the smaller 11549 ZIP code in Hempstead, only 323 of the 2,803 eligible residents – or 12% – have gotten their first shots.

Vaccine hesitancy, access to the shot, and other disparities have all been factors for some of those communities, and Nassau’s data show that it remains a problem.

Taking a look at pairs of similarly populated ZIP codes illustrates this issue well. Uniondale’s 11553 ZIP code has 20,690 eligible residents. Just 5,307 of them have received their first dose — or 26%. By contrast, Rockville Centre, at ZIP code 11570, has 21,604 residents. There, 11,895 individuals have gotten their first shot, or 55%.

Two smaller communities show similar disparities. Great Neck’s 11023 ZIP code has just 6,734 eligible residents. Of those, 3,916, or 58%, have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. In Inwood, by contrast, there are 6,424 eligible residents, but just 1,774 residents, or 28%, have gotten at least one shot.

Besides the county and state-run sites, and the pharmacies that are offering the shot, Nassau continues to offer pop-ups and other opportunities for particular communities to get vaccinated. That may have helped in communities like Valley Stream, in ZIP code 11580, where 13,103 individuals, or 37% of eligible residents, have received their first vaccine dose so far.

Columns