Why on Earth aren’t Queens residents getting the Covid-19 vaccine as fast as they possibly can? Is it the awkward scheduling procedure? The micromanaging of who is eligible at certain sites? Is it a language barrier? Historical distrust of the government? A belief in crazy conspiracy theories about Bill Gates?
Whatever it is, the city better get a handle on it fast. So far, 75 percent of shots given out at Aqueduct Race Track have gone to people who don’t live in the city, according to Mayor de Blasio. Maybe they work here, but they don’t live here. And while they deserve the vaccine as much as anyone else, we really need to get more Queens residents inoculated. Especially in South and Southeast Queens, which have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the borough.
In ZIP code 11420, South Ozone Park, only 5 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated, while the Covid positive test rate is 18.8 percent. In 11419, Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park, it’s 4 percent jabbed and 19.7 percent positive. And so on, throughout the area.
The city boasts of its outreach efforts in hard-hit communities but it obviously needs to do more. Send people door-to-door with phones with high-speed data plans to secure appointments if need be. Residents themselves could knock on neighbors’ doors to see if they’ve been vaccinated. We have to kick the virus while it’s down, and kill it.