By: Ilana Siyance
New York has reached an important milestone in beating the COVID-19 pandemic, in yet another sign that we might soon return to normalcy.
As reported by Spectrum News, the Empire State has doled out at least the first vaccine to 70 percent of the adult population, as per data from the CDC. Previously, Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said that 70 percent would be the goal, and when reached New York would be able to lift “virtually all” COVID-19 related restrictions, including capacity limits, mandatory health screenings, mask requirements, physical distancing rules, and hygiene protocols.
As per the NY Post, earlier this month, Gov. Cuomo had said that once 70 percent of adults have their first dose of the immunization then restrictions will be “optional” for retail, restaurants, offices, gyms, amusement parks, hair salons, and other services. “When we hit 70 percent, then I feel comfortable saying to the people of this state we can relax virtually all restrictions.” Restrictions would only remain mandatory for large-scale events or in public settings such as schools, homeless shelters and healthcare facilities. “It’s not the finish line at 70. But we’re coming around the last turn on the track,” Cuomo said.
As of Monday, however, the governor has still not rescinded any restrictions. Earlier on Monday, Cuomo announced that the inoculation rate among adults was at 69.9 percent. He had noted and bashed the zip codes with the lowest vaccination rates in the state, including seven areas in the Big Apple itself. Cuomo also pointed a finger at the age group of 12 to 17 years of age, saying they have the lowest vaccination rate, and more needs to be done to increase their numbers. Including all age groups, the percentage of all New Yorkers vaccinated with at least one dose is 57.8 percent, as per the CDC.
The state’s numbers for the vaccination rate is lower than stated in the CDC’s data, because the CDC also tracks federal administration of the vaccine such as in prisons and for public health authorities. However, the 70 percent benchmark was to be based on the rate published for the state at the federal level. The target follows the CDC’s guidance, with the CDC director having advised that though there is no exact rate for reaching herd immunity, 70% would go a long way toward protecting the community.
Across the U.S. the overall rate of people vaccinated with at least one dose is 64.5% for people over the age of 18.