By Tony Aiello

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City reached a COVID vaccination milestone last week, with a record number of residents receiving shots in the arm.

The city is promising to double down on efforts to address racial disparities in vaccination rates.

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“We begin a new week with really wonderful news in the battle against COVID,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports, a record 524,520 New York City residents were vaccinated last week.

COVID VACCINE

After trouble at the starting line in December, the city’s vaccination effort is now hitting its stride. The mayor believes vaccine hesitancy is diminishing as a factor.

“It cut very much along income lines and ethnic lines. That again – I think that difference is closing over time,” de Blasio said.

Hesitancy is one factor impacting the racial disparity in vaccination rates.

Watch: Mayor Bill de Blasio Briefing On COVID Vaccination Efforts

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Citywide, among adults over 18:

  • 40% of Asians have received at least one shot
  • 34% of whites
  • 22% of Latinos
  • 20% of Blacks

“You will see us double down even further in the coming weeks in making sure we are getting out into neighborhoods and communities and spreading the word about vaccination.  And our commitment is to continue closing those gaps,” said city Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

LINK: NYC COVID Vaccine Tracker

The city is making a determined effort to track disparities. In February, 40% of those vaccinated were listed as “race unknown.” That has now dropped to 12%. Street level efforts are bridging the digital divide that prevents some from scheduling shots.

“Those in the Bronx who have no access to the internet have much less access to information about vaccination sites and have no real ability to participate in online registration systems,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

“We have canvassers on the ground everyday now that have now helped to arrange 50-thousand vaccine appointments for people in Task Force for Racial Inclusion and Equity neighborhoods,” said Dr. Ted Long of New York Health and Hospitals.

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The city anticipates continued increasing supply, and projects it may even exceed demand by sometime in May.

Tony Aiello