BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Officials kicked off a citywide flu shot campaign this week in Bedford-Stuyvesant as part of an effort to combat the neighborhood’s low vaccination rates.
“Flu activity remains low in New York City, making now the best time to get your flu vaccine from your doctor or a nearby pharmacy,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.
Bed-Stuy, Rockaway and Coney Island are among the neighborhoods with the lowest flu vaccination rates for New Yorkers aged 65 and older, officials said.
Of the city’s 59 community districts, Bed-Stuy’s Community District 3 ranked 50th with just 36 percent of adults receiving the shot, 2015 city data shows.
That was the average for people in Brooklyn who got the vaccine, but in the whole of the city, 40 percent were vaccinated.
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In 2014, 2,220 New Yorkers died from influenza and pneumonia, officials said. About 90 percent of flu-related deaths are among those aged over 65.
The virus was among the top five causes of death for Bed-Stuy residents, according to data released last year.
In addition, among the elderly population, African-Americans are less likely to get vaccinated compared to Latino and white New Yorkers, officials said.
Bassett launched the “I Got My Flu Shot…Not The Flu” campaign at Concord Baptist Church on Marcy Avenue on Monday, giving the vaccine to leaders, congregation members and locals.
The city’s health department also held free vaccination clinics for residents following the announcement, in partnership with Walgreens/Duane Reade.
Children under 5, pregnant women, people with diabetes and chronic heart conditions and those over 65 are most at-risk of developing flu-related complications, officials said.