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COVID Newsletters

COVID weekly newsletter (3/25)


It’s Thursday, March 25, 2021. Welcome to my weekly COVID-19 newsletter.

Here are the bullets for NYC according to nonprofit news site’s COVID-19 tracker and the New York State COVID testing dashboard. The NYC Dept. of Health’s COVID data portal is currently down, but the department tweeted out vaccination data; the citywide seven-day positivity average remains unavailable.


  • 118,986 cumulative confirmed cases (+1,082 since Monday, 3/22)

  • 4,146 cumulative deaths (+43 since Monday)

  • 2.7% seven-day positivity average, the same as reported Monday

  • 223,473 adults (16%) partially vaccinated

  • 265,375 adults (19%) fully vaccinated


  • 803,440 total cases (+7,301 since Monday)

  • 30,793 total deaths (+229 since last Monday)

  • 923,311 adults (14%) partially vaccinated

  • 956,665 adults (14%) fully vaccinated

Following a 32,000-participant clinical trial, AstraZeneca reported that its two-shot COVID vaccine is 76% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID, slightly lower than the 79% it had reported earlier this week. The company was compelled to recalculate its findings after an independent monitoring board accused AstraZeneca of excluding more recent data that showed the vaccine may actually be 69-74% effective. As the NY Times put it, “The fight is about the degree of effectiveness of a vaccine that is undisputably effective.” AstraZeneca reiterated that the vaccine is 100% effective against severe disease and hospitalization. The company said it is preparing to submit its emergency use authorization application to the FDA.

Already in use in over 70 countries, this isn’t the AstraZeneca vaccine’s first controversy. More than a dozen nations recently suspended the use of the vaccine over concerns of serious but rare side effects, including blood clots (about 1 in 1 million cases). After the European Union’s medical regulator deemed the vaccine safe, most countries began administering the shot again.

Pharmacies are now vaccinating New Yorkers 50-59 years old in addition to those who are 60+, P-12 school faculty and staff, childcare workers, and those with underlying conditions.

Today (3/25) the Mayor announced an initiative to help Broadway reopen. In the next month, the City will open a vaccination site on Broadway for theater workers and a mobile unit for off-Broadway workers. There will also be pop-up COVID testing sites for theaters, and the City will help develop crowd-management plans for before and after shows, hopefully reopening in the fall. Although some in the theater industry are eligible for the vaccine because of their age, health, or other employment, it’s unclear when the State might make the entire industry eligible.

The City is relocating high school vaccine sites or modifying appointment hours now that high schools have reopened. As of today (3/25), the A. Philip Randolph High School site has been moved to the City College North Academic Center (Amsterdam Ave. btwn W. 136th and W. 138th. Sts.). Everyone with an appointment at a high school site should receive a text, call, or email from the City with updated location or rescheduling details. Transportation will be provided to the new site for anyone 65+ who shows up to the original location.

A new NYCHA residents-only vaccine site has opened at Johnson Community Center (1833 Lexington Ave. btwn 112th and 115th Sts.), a partnership between NYCHA and NYC Health + Hospitals. The site is open every Thursday-Sunday from now through 6/20, 8 am – 6 pm. All NYCHA residents eligible for the vaccine can make an appointment by calling 332-240-3330. Bring to your appointment: government-issued photo ID, proof of eligibility for the vaccine, and proof of NYCHA residency. See current vaccine eligibility criteria here (50+, certain jobs, and certain health conditions).

Fully homebound New Yorkers can request an in-home vaccination appointment through this form or by calling 877-829-4692. FDNY personnel will then call to confirm the homebound individual’s eligibility and schedule the appointment. If there are other vaccine-eligible individuals in the household (family or home health aides), they can also request an in-home appointment during that call.

For assistance making an appointment (in-home or otherwise), contact Junior Martinez in my office at (212) 531-1609 or

Citizen Public Health Training” is New York State’s free new course to help people recover from the pandemic and prepare for future health crises. In partnership with Cornell University, the 16-hour online course will focus on health communication and community engagement to empower New Yorkers as public health leaders, beginning Friday, 4/30. Register here and preview course materials here.

Community Immunity: A Rap Anthology About Vaccines” is a five-part animated rap series about the COVID vaccines, including why they’re effective and safe, common myths, and what to expect after getting vaccinated. The series features Grammy-winning rappers and renowned medical professionals, presented by the West Harlem Development Corporation and Hip Hop Public Health. Click the title to watch the videos.

Tonight (3/25) at 7 pm, Hi-ARTS hosts a Q&A about the COVID vaccine for people of color, featuring a Black medical professional, Dr. Risha Irvin. Register here or stream on YouTube or Facebook.

Stay Safe.