Positive Covid-19 Trends in NYC

By Edgard Cruz

Around six in 10 New Yorkers (64%) has tested positive for Covid-19 antibodies as of May 15, 2021, according to the New York City Health Department. The body creates antibodies after someone has been infected or vaccinated. Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson show great promise in mitigating the most severe effects of the coronavirus. The Covid-19 vaccine imitates the virus and causes the body to produce antibodies, proteins that fight off the infection. These antibodies will then stay in the system for up to eight months, according to an article in the journal Science. Some vaccine producers have suggested that a booster shot may then be necessary within a year, but it remains unclear how long the protection will last.

The body creates antibodies in response to a “foreign” protein that has entered the immune system. These “foreign” proteins are identified through the production of antigens (microbes that infect the human body) that weaken the human body if left to their own devices. If the antigen has attacked the immune system before, the antibodies that were created in response to them then will find and locate the antigen and attack it until it poses no threat.

The presence of antibodies is one way to gauge the prevalence of the infection in a community. The data, of course, does not factor in residents who chose not to be tested for antibodies and is therefore not indicative of all New Yorkers. However, that number will likely increase because the availability of vaccinations has been greatly expanded throughout the city and teens are eligible.

Over four million New York City residents (49%) have at least one shot and 41% have been fully vaccinated. The rate of vaccination varies a bit by borough. For example, 52% of Manhattan residents are fully vaccinated and 61% have at least one shot, compared to 32% and 40% in the Bronx. In addition to the vaccinated, there have been a total of 945,795 Covid-19 cases in New York City, thus these residents may also test positive for antibodies.

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