Virus Numbers Are Surging. Why Is New York’s Vaccine Rollout Sluggish?

Virus Numbers Are Surging. Why Is New York’s Vaccine Rollout Sluggish?

With a new variant of the virus emerging elsewhere in the country, it’s crucial to vaccinate New Yorkers quickly. But so far, only about 88,000 have received the shots.

As the final hours ticked away in a harrowing year, New York City on Thursday once again found itself in a worrying position in the pandemic: Hospitalizations were climbing for the fourth consecutive month, the positive test rate in some areas had doubled and vaccinations that were supposed to bring normalcy had gotten off to a slow start.

Across the city, where the positive test rate over a seven-day average reached 8.87, the virus continued its winter surge.

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the positive test rate in the most recent seven-day average in one ZIP code had reached 14.71. A section of Ozone Park in Queens had a city-high 15.61 positive test rate. In the Bronx, the boroughwide rate had reached 9.56 — and yet that was still lower than Staten Island’s 10.34 rate.