delta variant
Arlene Ramirez, RN, director, patient care, ED, Long Island Jewish Valley Stream, receives the Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital. ( REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Nassau and Suffolk are among the counties with the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates in New York, but with the Delta variant spreading, Long Island’s vaccination efforts are not over yet.

Over the weekend, Suffolk County hit 80 percent of adults who have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And almost two weeks ago, Nassau County surpassed 85 percent of residents 18 and older who have received at least one shot.

“The science is clear,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a statement. “The Covid-19 vaccine saves lives and is the best tool we have to end this pandemic once and for all.”

“Nassau County has led the way in vaccinations since day one,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in her statement. “If you haven’t rolled up your sleeve yet, now is the time.”

Though vaccine rates are rising, so are Covid infection rates due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta variant. As of Aug. 29, Long Island’s infection rate was 4.35 percent on a 7-day average, up from 2.3 percent a month earlier on July 29 and .4 percent a month before that on June 29, according to New York State data.

In response, elected officials and health leaders have been continuing efforts to get as many residents vaccinated as possible. On Long Island, eight people died of Covid — four in Nassau and four in Suffolk — on Saturday alone, out of 27 total New Yorkers who died of the virus that day. While it is still possible to contract the virus when vaccinated, the Covid-19 vaccine prevents serious illness or death from Covid.

“As the Delta variant makes its way through communities across the country, it’s crucial we keep doing everything we can to keep each other safe from the Covid virus,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “Wear a mask and, if you haven’t already, get your vaccine as soon as you can. The vaccine is the best way to protect yourselves and your loved ones.”

In Suffolk, Bellone encouraged residents 12 and older who have not yet been vaccinated to stop by the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Thursday, Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon to get their shots.

In Nassau, Town of Hempstead and Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital have partnered to bring a mobile vaccination unit to various locations. This week, the “vaxmobile” will be in Wantagh, Uniondale, and Bethpage. The county has partnered with businesses to get workers vaccinated, as well as schools to vaccinate students returning to the classroom. Vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, medical offices, and remaining state vaccination sites, as well.

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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