COVID Miscellany #1

A small point. But, as we batten down the hatches on the COVID front, it’s worth remembering that as it does in politics, looking at America’s COVID epidemiology through the prism of states is as frequently misleading as not. Here in Manhattan (New York County), where I’m writing this morning, 87.2% of the population has had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Over the age of 18 that percentage jumps to 94.3%. But in Allegany County, far to the west, that one dose number drops to 45.3%. Might as well be different country, let alone a different state.

That’s Allegany County. But in almost bordering Erie County (the home of Buffalo) the one dose number is 70.1%.

And even in New York City, the numbers vary markedly. If you go across the East River from Manhattan into Brooklyn (Kings County) that one dose number drops almost 20 points to 69.7%.

These numbers reflect education, class, race. But the most extreme differences are tied to population density, at least viewed through the county prism. A quick look through the state at the half dozen or so counties with the lowest vaccination rates shows that they all have about 50,000 inhabitants or fewer. That’s compared to the five counties in New York City all but one of which have one 1 million inhabitants and two of which have well over 2 million.

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