Where are the vaccine hot spots in Suffolk?

Vaccine sites run by Suffolk County have administered first doses to 48,494 individuals from across Suffolk and beyond, according to data provided to The Point by Deputy County Executive Lisa Black.

More than 3,700 of those vaccine recipients, about 7.7% of the total, live in two ZIP codes – 11706 and 11717, in the Brentwood and Bay Shore areas. Another 6.6% – 3,226 residents – came from Huntington Station and Central Islip.

That’s significant because it seems to indicate that the county’s efforts to target minority neighborhoods, some underserved by health care networks and often hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, have been successful in some of those pockets.

The data highlight the importance of the Suffolk County Community College site in Brentwood that, until recently, was run by the county, in addition to the various pop-ups the county has organized. The state recently added the community college site as a state-run mass vaccination location that potentially could deliver even more shots.

“We knew there would be hesitancy in some communities,” Black told The Point. “We knew we had to meet them where they are, with people who speak their language, people who look like them, people who work with them and are trusted members of the community … and would be the best messengers.”

But Black realizes the county could do better. Tuesday night, Suffolk organized a pop-up site in Center Moriches. Wednesday night, a pop-up site came to the Mastic firehouse, where 400 vaccines were administered. The Mastic-Shirley ZIP codes have not been as robust in terms of the number of residents who have been vaccinated, with just 275 residents vaccinated in 11951 – the Mastic Beach ZIP code, for example.

While thousands of Suffolk residents received the bulk of the doses from county-run sites, plenty of Nassau residents headed to Suffolk to get their shots, too. New York City residents, and those from elsewhere across the state, and even outside the state, used Suffolk’s sites as well. Anyone who either lives in or works in New York can access the county sites as long as they qualify.

A separate database Black shared with The Point shows that 343,255 Suffolk residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of last week, but that data set doesn’t provide a breakdown of where they got their shots. At the top of that list: Huntington Station, home to more than 17,000 residents who have gotten at least their first shot.