Which of our state lawmakers got their shots?
The majority of Long Island’s state lawmakers have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, a roundup by The Point has shown.
Six state senators told The Point they’ve been vaccinated, including all five Democrats – Todd Kaminsky, Anna Kaplan, John Brooks, Jim Gaughran and Kevin Thomas. Republican Phil Boyle said he just got his second shot last week.
Republican State Senator Alexis Weik refused to answer The Point’s questions, as a spokeswoman wrote in an email that Weik "feels your questions violate her HIPA (sic) rights."
Republican State Sen. Anthony Palumbo, through a spokesman, declined to comment as well.
State Sen. Mario Mattera, also a Republican, told The Point he contracted COVID-19 two weeks ago. He noted that he has spent the last several months "working hard to get everyone vaccinated who wanted it" in his district — but did not get the vaccine himself. Now, he has to wait 90 days before he would be eligible. But Mattera told The Point he wasn’t committing to getting the shot even when he’s able.
"That’s a privacy issue," he said. "It’s my prerogative. It’s my right to do that on my own. I really just care about my whole district — whoever wants it — being vaccinated."
Added Mattera: "I have 90 days to reevaluate what I’m going to be doing. I’m going to be considering it very highly."
On the Assembly side, 15 of Long Island’s 22 members — Fred Thiele, Jodi Giglio, Joe DeStefano, Steve Englebright, Doug Smith, Phil Ramos, Jarett Gandolfo, Michael Fitzpatrick, Steve Stern, Charles Lavine, David McDonough, Michael Montesano, Gina Sillitti, Melissa Miller and Judy Griffin – have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Two others, Michael Durso and Edward Ra, said they have their appointments scheduled.
There are several members of the Assembly who haven’t yet had or scheduled their shots, or are waiting, for a variety of reasons. A staff member for Assemb. Kimberly Jean-Pierre, for instance, said she is hoping to get her shot at a local community clinic so she can encourage others to do the same. Durso, similarly, noted that while he has an appointment in April, he is holding a mobile health clinic in May that will offer shots to those who pre-register, and he may wait to get his shot as part of that mobile effort.
Assemb. Keith Brown told The Point he’s waiting for his now 15-year-old son to turn 16 at the end of April, so that the two can get their shots together. Brown said he thinks "people need to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity," and has been trying to do outreach in his district to encourage it. Assemb. John Mikulin said he hasn’t yet made a vaccine appointment, either, but "I intend to, yes, absolutely."
And Assemb. Taylor Darling said she hasn’t gotten the vaccine because she is pregnant and due in May, but, she added, she has no plans to get it going forward, either, in part because she plans to breastfeed. She added that she wants her constituents "to do your due diligence. I want to make sure whatever option you choose is available."
Assemb. Michaelle Solages said she hasn’t gotten the vaccine yet, either.
"I plan on taking the vaccine once it’s readily available to all New Yorkers," Solages told The Point. "Many of my constituents are still having issues accessing the vaccine."
Englebright took a different view. He said he would have gotten the shots as soon as he qualified, but had COVID-19 in January and had to wait. He just recently got his second shot.
"It’s vital," Englebright said of the vaccine. "It’ll enable us to get our economy and the structure of our society back in order."
—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall
Our custom map details which Suffolk communities have the most residents with COVID-19 vaccinations
A look at the Suffolk County residents who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 shows that the county’s effort to target communities with large minority populations, or those hardest hit by the pandemic, seems to be working.
Of the 452,733 Suffolk County residents who had been vaccinated as of April 6, 38,893 residents, or about 8.6%, come from two ZIP codes – 11746 and 11743, home to communities like Huntington Station, Elwood, Dix Hills and South Huntington.
Another 26,714 vaccinated residents, or about 6%, came from ZIP codes 11706 and 11717, which include communities like Brentwood and Bay Shore.
Of course, in all of those ZIP codes, there are pockets of affluence, as well.
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