NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s concern about vaccination rates in parts of Queens.

Health officials and politicians were in Far Rockaway on Thursday morning encouraging people to get the shot as vaccination rates in that zip code lag behind the rest of the city.

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As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, zip code 11691 has the fewest vaccinated residents in New York City. So elected officials were at a vaccine hub at Beach 39th Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard giving people an extra push, stopping folks on the street, and reminding them they can get $100 if they get vaccinated.


In fact, businesses and religious leaders can even sign up with the city to get a referral fee for every person who gets a first shot.

Throughout the pandemic, city data has shown Far Rockaway and Edgemere are among the worst affected parts of Queens, in terms of deaths and infections. But stats also show the area has the lowest vaccination rate of any zip code in the city, with just 38.62% of residents with at least one vaccine dose.

That’s well below the city average of 60% with at least one shot.

A trickle of Far Rockaway residents showed up Thursday morning, citing a variety of reasons why it took so long.

“I just haven’t gotten a chance to, but it’s something that you think about,” one person said.

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“A lot of people are scared. They are scared of complications. I don’t believe that. I believe it will help you,” said George Fortinos.

“At first, I was very doubtful because of the misconception. Then, I realized that it’s important. We have to set an example,” registered nurse Sandra Henson said.

“I was really reluctant. I really was because I don’t even take the flu shot. So, I didn’t want to take it, and then I thought about it. I have a mother who is 87 years old,” another person said.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams teamed up to educate the community, warning historically underserved neighborhoods are most vulnerable to another outbreak.

“We don’t want to go back to where we were last year. Reminder, Far Rockaway shut down. Reminder, bodies upon bodies at our hospitals,” Richards said.

“We have to put away all of the pre-existing fears that we’ve had around the history of vaccines, the history of mistrust,” Adams added.

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All you have to do is show up from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. No appointment and no ID necessary.

Natalie Duddridge