The tri-state so far boasts high vaccination rates comparative to the rest of the country, with New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut having each fully vaccinated nearly 20 percent of their state's populations -- but there's one indicator that's holding part of the tri-state behind.
Each of the three states ranks among the top 15 states in the number of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents (Connecticut ranks third). But when the data is broken up by age, New York and New Jersey fall near the bottom of the list for vaccinating people 65 and older.
According to data collected by the CDC, New York ranks 45th and New Jersey 42nd in states getting shots in the arms of the most vulnerable age demographic. Connecticut, meanwhile, boasts high rates again, ranking second in the number of people 65 and older given at least one dose per 100,000 people.
“The disparity suggests that New York’s vaccination policies and procedures are giving younger people an advantage relative to other states,” Empire Center said Friday.
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Providers
Click on each provider to find more information on scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 Vaccine.
Data: City of New York, State of New Jersey • Nina Lin / NBC
As part of the effort to get more shots in the arms the city's oldest generation, New Yorkers aged 75 and up were granted access this week to walk up to any one of three 24/7 city-run sites to get a vaccine dose without an appointment. The mass vaccinations sites at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Bathgate and Citi Field will administer to that age group and one eligible escort at any time.
To encourage people to take advantage, the city says an eligible escort of any age can accompany older New Yorkers and get vaccinated with them, no scheduling needed.
After the very first doses were administered in December of last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo opened vaccine eligibility to people 65 and older on Jan. 12. A significant number of frontline workers were deemed eligible that same day, including teachers, first responders and grocery store employees.
Fast forward almost three months to April 6, New York is set to break open eligibility on Tuesday to everyone 16 years and older.
To date, 32.5 percent of New York's population has had at least one dose while nearly 20 percent can report a completed series. The Garden State almost exactly mirrors New York's percentage of residents fully vaccinated and those who have received at least one dose.
It's not clear when New Jersey might be ready to take that universal eligibility step, but if the moves by neighboring governors are an indication, it won't be long.
President Joe Biden announced Monday that 90 percent of U.S. adults will be eligible for vaccination by April 19 -- and have a site within five miles of home by that date. The plan is contingent upon expanding vaccine access at retail pharmacies, which thus far have only been permitted to inoculate people 60 years and older, teachers and more recently, individuals with underlying conditions.