With just weeks before New York City is slated to roll out its citywide vaccine passport mandate for restaurants, gyms, and other venues, just 28 percent of black residents between the ages of 18 and 44 are fully vaccinated, according to data provided by the city’s Department of Health website.
The city’s data, as of Aug. 13, also shows that 33 percent of black New Yorkers in that age group have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.
According to the provisions of the “Key to NYC” health passport mandate, customers who have received at least one dose of the vaccine are allowed to enter gyms, restaurants, bars, and theaters. It means that 67 percent of black New Yorkers in that age group could be denied service when it goes into effect in mid-September.
And only 19 percent of black residents between the ages of 13 and 17 are fully vaccinated, the data shows, while 28 percent of that age group have received at least one dose.
Overall, 37 percent of black New Yorkers in all age groups have received at least one shot, while 32 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the latest data.
Under the new program, meanwhile, unvaccinated people won’t be able to work at restaurants, gyms, theaters, or bars, either under the new mandate, which was unveiled earlier this month by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.
One black woman, 33-year-old Diamond Wright of Queens’ Far Rockaway neighborhood, told Politico that despite the mandate, “Personally, I’m not gonna get it.” She added: “They came up with it kinda fast.”
And Wright said that she isn’t swayed by the city’s $100 vaccination incentive, adding that “a lot of people are scared.”
Another black woman, 31-year-old Jazmine Shavuo-Goodwin, explained to a local news outlet why she doesn’t want the COVID-19 shot. When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) briefly paused using the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier this year, it reaffirmed her hesitance, she said.
“It reaffirmed my hesitance, it reaffirmed everything,” Shavuo-Goodwin, a clinic manager from Brooklyn’s Red Hood neighborhood, explained. “It just shows black lives don’t matter. You can test that on us just like you tested syphilis on us.”
Added Knya White of Brookyln’s Canarsie: “They’re experimenting on us.”
Earlier this week, de Blasio’s office announced that a few dozen more businesses would adopt the program.
“Early adopters of the Key to NYC program are public health heroes. Their leadership and fast action sends a powerful message: New Yorkers will do everything in our power to keep each other safe and defeat COVID-19,” the mayor said in a statement. “Mass vaccination is the only way to stop the spread—and these businesses are giving New Yorkers more reasons than ever to protect themselves and their communities. I’m proud to stand with them.”
Last week, the city announced it would be rolling back the mandate, a number of restaurants and small business owners criticized the move. Some argued that it would be impossible to enforce.
“It’s stupid, because it’s not our job to police people,” said a manager of Manhattan Italian restaurant who only gave his last name, Liu. “Whether you’re not vaccinated or you’re vaccinated, you’re still my customer,” he said.
Businesses, he said, will probably ignore the rule en masse and said the government is to blame for why people aren’t getting the vaccine.
“Instead, they’re forcing these ridiculous laws on us,” he said.
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.