Bronx becomes focus in fight against COVID-19, local hospital aims to increase vaccinations
The fight against the coronavirus continues in the Bronx, and new data from the Department of Health shows that parts of the borough have some of the lowest vaccination rates, despite targeted steps to vaccinate Bronx residents.
Doctors at North Central Bronx Hospital say misinformation and a lack of supply are part of what is keeping vaccination rates low, but they tell News 12 things are beginning to turn around at the hospital.
They say the vaccination process is improving every day. “At this point, it seems that we’ve got a fairly steady and consistent system. And so, we’re welcoming everyone who wants the vaccine and who is eligible to get it,” said Dr. Sarrah Garrison.
According to the Department Of Health, almost 80,000 people live in the North Central Bronx -- an area that includes Norwood, Allerton and Williamsbridge -- less than 3,000 of those people have been fully vaccinated.
The numbers become worrisome when you compare them to neighborhoods in other parts of the city, like Manhattan. While 4% of the population in the Norwood area is fully vaccinated, ion the Upper East Side it’s about 15%.
Doctors at North Central Bronx say hospitals need a reliable supply of vaccine doses to administer them effectively.
“We weren't always sure about how many vaccines we would get and when we would get it. But there was a time early on where we thought we had more, we were expecting more than what we got and at that time we had to cancel some of the appointments,” said Dr. Garrison.
They add that educating the community on the facts about the vaccine is another important part of keeping the Bronx safe.
“Education is key. Some people are understandably a little reluctant, so for us, it’s important that we address any concerns that they have,” said Dr. Garrison.
City Council is set to have a hearing Wednesday to discuss creating a unified scheduling system for vaccine appointments across the city.