With less than 3% of residents vaccinated, WNY officials calling for more doses to fight COVID-19

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With less than three percent of their local population receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, West New York officials are calling on all eligible partners to help supply the town with more vaccines.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“On March 8th, 2020, the Town of West New York was the first municipality to have a positive case in the County of Hudson. Since then, we have worked diligently with the community to weather the impact of this devastating pandemic,” Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez said in an open letter seeking assistance.

“At this juncture, as is the case around the world, we are desperately trying to secure a consistent supply of vaccinations to inoculate all our residents – while amounts to this region have increased, allocations toward our community have not. West New York deserves better and I will not rest until all residents are vaccinated.”

He continues that the COVID-19 death rate in WNY is almost twice that of the state of New Jersey: 35.82 percent vs. 22.87 percent per 10,000 cases, with just 2.2 to 2.7 percent of West New Yorkers vaccinated.

Even though Hudson County’s vaccination rate per population is the lowest in the state, with 8.3 percent receiving their first dose, that is still much higher than the rate cited in West New York.

“Our municipality is located in the most densely populated area in our nation with an estimated 60,000 residents in one square mile. It is imperative that we accelerate distribution to achieve herd immunity,” the mayor noted.

“We have a large portion of our population that is over the age of sixty-five (65+) and/or have serious health issues that fit the criteria set forth in past guidance by the State, who have indicated that they are interested in the vaccine. The governor has provided new guidance which adds more people to the list of eligibility, an effort we applaud, but the limited quantities supplied to our community have not been adequate to fulfill the demand from individuals who fit the past guidance.”

Last week, Hudson County Commissioner Bill O’Dea noted that the entire county was only receiving about 5,500 vaccines a week, a figure that indicates it would take two years for the eligible population to get inoculated.