The rate of New Yorkers turning out to get their first COVID-19 vaccine shot has been increasing in recent weeks following news of an increasing number of cases of the CCP virus as well as the recent announcement of a proof-of-vaccine requirement for patrons of restaurants and other businesses.
More than 100,000 people received the first of two vaccine shots in the seven days ending Aug. 14, doubling the number from five weeks ago. The uptick follows a dramatic slowdown in vaccination rates in the prior months.
The vaccination rate peaked in mid-April when more than 350,000 New Yorkers per week were getting the first shot. The rate then fell, reaching a low of fewer than 50,000 per week in early July, according to data from the New York Citywide Immunization Registry.
In early June, news of the “Delta variant” began to spread, with internet searches for “delta variant” escalating in mid to late June, according to Google Trends. Experts have said the variant appears to spread more easily, but tends to cause less severe symptoms.
In early July, COVID-19 cases reported by the city started to increase, from around 200 per day to more than 1,000 per day by the end of the month. Hospitalizations went up from about 20 per day to about 70 per day.
The vaccination rates started to increase around the same time.
Then, on Aug. 3, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that people will need to present proof of vaccination to enter bars, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues. The vaccination rate hiked again in the following weeks.
Enforcement of the policy is set to start on Sept. 13. The targeted businesses have been among the most damaged by the shutdowns imposed by the government in response to the CCP virus pandemic.
Most restaurants saw December 2020 sales down 50 to 100 percent from the year before, according to a survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance, an industry group.
It’s still not clear how enforcement of the new policy would work. One restaurant owner previously told The Epoch Times that she doesn’t have the resources to have a staffer at the door checking people’s vaccination cards.
Bar and restaurant owners are “very split on the issue,” according to the head of the Alliance, Andrew Rigie.
“Some support it, others oppose it. All seem to agree we can’t go to harsher restrictions and shutdowns again,” he previously told The Epoch Times.
More than a third of New Yorkers haven’t received the shot. In the Bronx and Brooklyn, nearly half haven’t. The rates are the lowest among black residents, of whom nearly two-thirds haven’t received the shot. About half of whites and Hispanics have gotten at least one shot, as have nearly 80 percent of Asians.