The rate of COVID-19-related hospitalizations for New Yorkers 65 and older has fallen by more than 50 percent since January after vaccinations first became available — a far larger drop than for younger residents, officials revealed, officials said Wednesday.
The average rate of hospital admissions for people 65 and older showing symptoms of the virus has dipped 51 percent over the past three months, city health commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s daily media briefing.
That’s compared to a 29 percent decline in the rate of hospitalizations among those under 65 — who have been eligible for the vaccine for a shorter period, he said.
“The vaccines are life-saving, and here in New York City, we are starting to see them have the real-world benefit that has been observed in Israel, the United Kingdom and elsewhere,” he said.
“Consider the example of older adults, who were prioritized earlier, and received vaccinations at nursing homes and in the community,” Chokshi added. “As more of these New Yorkers were vaccinated, [and] now over 61 percent of our seniors have received at least one dose, we are starting to see hospitalizations drop.”
De Blasio called the decline “such good news.”
“We have challenges along the way, but what’s been proven now very, very clearly is the power of this vaccine to protect our seniors, to protect everyone, but particularly those who are most vulnerable,” he said. “We are seeing really powerful evidence in terms of reduction of hospitalizations. There’s always more to do, but this is working.”
A total of more than 5.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in the Big Apple so far, officials said Wednesday.
Last week alone, more than 550,000 shots were administered.
Vaccinations became available to anyone age 16 and older citywide last week.