BRONX, NY — After putting it off for months, Bronx resident Matthew Benn finally got vaccinated Thursday .

“I had a busy schedule work, you know, and raising a child — stuff like that,” said Benn.

What You Need To Know

  • Only 29% of Bronx residents are fully vaccinated, the rate lowest in the city

  • Just 15% of Bronx residents 18 to 24 are fully vaccinated, also the lowest in the city

  • Doctors at SOMOS Community Care say with vaccines now available at doctors offices in its network, vaccination rates in the Bronx should increase

He got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site at the E. 180th Street subway station in the Bronx. It was so convenient he had no excuses to put it off any longer.  

“When my mom told me, I said 'wow that’s very close I can just walk there,'” Benn said.

Health officials in the Bronx are hopeful now that the vaccine is more accessible, vaccination rates in the borough will improve. Currently, only 29% of Bronx residents are fully vaccinated, the lowest rate in the city . 

“I’m still young, you know what I mean," said 23-year-old Antonio Gonzales. "I know can survive if I do the right things and take the right steps, but I’m not trying to take the vaccine."

Gonzales has no plans to get vaccinated. His hesitancy is reflected in city data that shows only 15% of those 18-24 in the Bronx are fully vaccinated, the lowest in the city.

“They feel they are invincible, you know, they don’t have the time, 'I’m gonna be OK,'” said Dr. Luisa Perez of SOMOS Community Care.

Doctors with SOMOS Community Care are now working to reach those young people in the borough 

“We’re in the process of making little workshops just for young adults to get them vaccinated,” said Dr. Perez.

Dr Perez said some confusion that appointments are no longer needed to get vaccinated has also prevented some Bronx residents from getting vaccinated. Also, many people only feel comfortable getting vaccinated by their doctors. With the vaccine now available in doctors offices in the SOMOS network she expects vaccination rates will soon improve. 

“So there’s so many people that we have been able to reach to just clarify for them and make them comfortable enough to know that the vaccine is the solution to this virus,” said Perez.

Mathew Benn is confident he made the right decision.

“I feel it’s important to get the shot now so you don’t have to worry about it later and find out you have COVID, and like 'darn you should have took that shot,'”said Benn.