Uptake of COVID-19 vaccines remains persistently low in pockets of New York City two years into the pandemic, despite being shown to reduce the severity and spread of the virus that has killed nearly 40,000 New Yorkers.

A city health department study in August found a vast majority of covid-related hospitalizations and deaths – 97% – were among people who were unvaccinated. While the vaccine is widely available and the city has made efforts to encourage inoculation, 1.9 million New Yorkers are not considered fully vaccinated. That number – 23% of the city – is mostly made up of vaccine-eligible people, but also includes the under-five population still awaiting federal approval.

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