The city is urging New Yorkers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the delta variant pushes cases higher.
At a news conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated the city’s “five pillars” to combating the virus; mobile vaccine sites in undervaccinated communities, door-to-door canvassers, in-home vaccination services, expanding a referral bonus program for local nonprofits, and driving more doctors to reach out to their patients.
Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said staff will visit primary care and women’s health practices across 76 ZIP codes with the lowest vaccination rates this summer to support them in offering the vaccine.
Chokshi added that there will also be a particular focus on youth and parents through engagement with pediatric providers, particularly around back-to-school physicals.
“We have come so far, but the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over in New York City,” Chokshi said. “Our way out of this is with vaccination. It is our most powerful tool, and with it, we can continue to save lives.”
The push comes as COVID-19 cases rise again across the five boroughs. The mayor said the seven-day average of new reported coronavirus cases is at 407, the highest it has been since late May. The seven-day average of residents who have tested positive is at 1.33%.
The mayor highlighted a study by epidemiologists at Yale University, which indicates that the city’s vaccination campaign prevented more than 252,000 COVID-19 cases, more than 44,000 hospitalizations and more than 8,300 deaths.
The city has administered more 9.6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses. A little more than half the city’s population is fully vaccinated, according to NYC Health Department data.