Just over half of New York City public school students are fully vaccinated, according to data the education department released Friday.
In total, 59% of the city’s public school students have received at least one vaccine dose and nearly 52% are considered fully vaccinated.
The information is required under City Council law, and includes a breakdown of school-level vaccination rates and the number of students who have consented to in-school COVID testing. Updates will be shared every two weeks. The figures don’t include charter schools.
The data show that there are wide disparities by school and neighborhood. Schools in Brooklyn’s District 23, which includes Ocean Hill, Brownsville and parts of East New York, had the lowest rates of vaccination, with just 38% of students receiving at least one dose. Districts 16, which includes a significant chunk of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and 18, which includes Flatbush and Canarsie, both had vaccination rates of 43%. On Staten Island, the rate is 47%.
“In the coming months, we are working with our partner health care agencies on an outreach campaign to encourage vaccination in the communities with the lowest rates,” education department spokesperson Nathaniel Styer said in a statement.
Manhattan’s District 2 has the highest vaccination rate, with 80% of students receiving at least one dose. That district spans much of Lower Manhattan, some of Chinatown, and the Upper East Side. Not far behind: District 3 in Manhattan, which includes the Upper West Side and part of Harlem, at 77%. Next is District 26 in Bayside, Queens, where 74% of students have at least one dose.
At nearly 250 of the city’s schools, fewer than a third of students have received at least one dose. Out of the city’s nearly 1,600 district schools, the share of students who have been vaccinated with at least one dose ranges from from just 12% to 94%.
The city had previously released information about vaccination rates among children, but had not provided data specific to public students or where they go to school.
Nationally, about 26% of children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated and 57% of those 12-17 are, according to a New York Times database. Children ages 5-11 became eligible for the vaccine in November; children under 5 are still ineligible.
Public health experts say that information is important to weigh as the state considers whether to lift a mandate to wear masks in schools. Gov. Kathy Hochul has said she will wait until after the mid-winter recess to make a decision. She has said she will weigh a combination of factors, including the positivity rate, vaccination rates, and hospital capacity. On Friday, New York City announced that students will no longer have to wear masks while outside on school grounds, including while playing school-sponsored sports.
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