April 26, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Queens has hit a key milestone in the effort to vaccinate residents against COVID-19 – more than 1 million people have received at least one dose.
Borough President Donovan Richards touted the achievement Friday with posts on social media.
“One year ago today, #Queens was the epicenter of the epicenter of the world’s worst pandemic in a century. Now, we’re the first county in New York to have 1 million residents get at least one dose of a #COVID19 vaccine,” Richards wrote on Twitter. “The resilience and strength of this borough is unrivaled.”
Data on the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker, showed that 1,028,772 adults in Queens had received at least one dose as of Sunday morning, while 662,451 people in the borough were fully vaccinated.
“To all our healthcare heroes and frontline essential workers who selflessly served Queens in our time of need, we are eternally in your debt,” Richards said in a statement. “To all those who lost a loved one to this pandemic, our hearts are always with you.”
The borough president also thanked those who have received their shots for helping to prevent further spread of the virus.
“We have more work to do but we should recognize reaching such a key milestone in Covid recovery. Working together, we can accomplish anything,” Richards tweeted.
Queens reached the one million marker, as city officials announced that New Yorkers age 16 don’t need an appointment to receive vaccines starting Saturday at city-run sites.
These locations included eight sites in Queens as of Sunday: the former Modell’s at Queens Center Mall, Korean Community Services in Bayside, Beach Channel Educational Campus in the Rockaways, the Long Island City Vaccine Site at Plaxall (5-17 46th Rd.), Citi Field, Queensborough Community College in Bayside and two Queens Public Library locations – in Flushing and Ozone Park.
“So, you can just walk up and get vaccinated – if you’re 16 years old or older at the sites using Pfizer or 18 years old or older at the sites using Moderna,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The move comes as officials seek to offer easier access to unvaccinated New Yorkers. Previous geographic restrictions on city-run sites have also been lifted.
“We think this approach is exactly right for this point as we continue to move forward,” the mayor said.
Vaccination rates across the city have varied over the past few months – and some neighborhoods in southeast Queens and the Rockaways currently have some of the lowest rates.
As of Sunday morning, only 31 percent of adults in the Edgemere/Far Rockaway zip code of 11691 had received at least one dose – the lowest percentage in the city.
In several other Queens zip codes – St. Albans (11412), Rosedale (11422), Laurelton/Rosedale (11413), Cambria Heights (11411), and Arverne/Edgemere (11692) – the percentage of adults who had received at least one dose was under 40 percent. The borough average was 53 percent, as of Sunday.
Elected officials have said they are working to address the disparity.
“So, the Rockway is a place that always deserves attention. And historically hasn’t gotten its fair share. We’re making sure there’s lots of options for residents of the Rockaways,” de Blasio said during a news conference last week. He said that additional options for residents of the peninsula would be announced in the coming days.
To find locations where COVID-19 vaccinations are being given, visit the city’s Vaccine Finder.