Elderly Hospitalizations In Half Since Vaccine Drive

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Dave A. Chokshi. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in New Yorkers age 65 and older have fallen by 51% over the past three months, city officials said on Wednesday.

“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,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at his press conference. “We are seeing really powerful evidence in terms of reduction of hospitalizations. There’s always more to do, but this is working.”

Senior citizens and nursing home residents were prioritized for the vaccine drive and some of the first to receive their shots.

“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,” said Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner.

The hospitalization rates for adults below 65 has fallen 29%; all New Yorkers 16 and above are eligible for the vaccine.

“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,” concluded Chokshi.

The city has distributed more than 5 million vaccine shots, more than the population of South Carolina.