Are vaccines distributed equally across New York?

Posted at 6:18 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 16:51:04-05

ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Are vaccines distributed evenly across New York? 7 Eyewitness News crunched the numbers to find out.

First we calculated the population of each region using 2010 census data. This number is just the population. It does not reflect how many people are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, like health care workers or those above 65.

The New York State Department of Health shares how many doses each region has received on the state's COVID-19 vaccine tracker website.

7 Eyewitness News took the amount of first doses each region has received and divided it by the population.

Each region receives about one vaccine dose for every 10 people with only slight variations.

As of Monday, Western New York has received more than 140,000 doses for a population of almost 1.4 million people.

The Finger Lakes region, which includes Rochester, has received about 126,000 doses for a population just above 1.2 million.

But we don't know how vaccine doses are distributed within those regions of the state.

Last week, 7 Eyewitness News asked the governor's office and the state health department to breakdown how many doses go to counties, pharmacies and state vaccination sites.

A representative for the Department of Health responded saying county level data is "not currently publicly available."

7 Eyewitness News has reached out to the Department of Health and state to find out why New York can not disclose this information, while other states can. Neither the Department of Health or state have responded.