A pocket of Eastern Queens residents are falling behind in getting fully vaccinated or even getting a first dose for residents 18 and up against the coronavirus, according to data from the city’s Department of Health.
People who live near John F. Kennedy Airport, South Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, St. Albans (11434, 11412); Laurelton, Rosedale (11413, 1422); Cambria Heights (11411); Queens Village (11429, 11428), Hollis and Holliswood (11423) who have one dose of the vaccine or are fully vaccinated make up 167,980 people. Only one-fourth of that population lives in an area with an over 40 percent complete vaccination rate or over 56 percent first-dose rate.
The outliers in that pocket of Queens include Hollis, Holliswood and a section of Queens Village (11428), according to the DOH. A population of 53,603 live in a neighborhood where the fully vaccinated fall under 30 percent and 72,429 have a one-dose rate under 40 percent.
The lowest fully vaccinated (36 percent) and one-dose (27 percent) population both fall within the same zip code: 11413.
Research is still ongoing on herd immunity, but some experts say that the vaccinated population must be around 70 percent to reach that threshold, which is a similar figure for polio and the measles.
Christine Hemley, 55, from Queens Village believes that the United State’s experiments on Black people in the 1930s is what prevents her neighbors from signing up for vaccine appointments.
“I heard about the syphillis experiments in this country,” said Hemley, a Jamaican native. “I know Black folks are skeptical from that.”
Hemley finds it understandable that Blacks in the US do not want to put their trust in the vaccine.
“The government isn’t really looking out for us,” said Hemley. “We are scared.”