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QUEENS — New York has a lot to brag about as the state has the lowest COVID positivity rate across the country. 

After reaching a 70% vaccination milestone, things are looking a lot different with “virtually all” COVID restrictions lifted.

About 47% of New York City residents are fully vaccinated and another 4.5 million New Yorkers have reached at least one dose of the vaccine.

One of the boroughs leading the way? Queens.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards spoke with PIX11 News to break down vaccination numbers and how they hope to continue to get more people inoculated. 

As vaccinations continue to increase and businesses begin to fully reopen, Richards said “The Queens comeback story is in motion.”

“This is not about you. This is about your community, this is about your family.”

First county to hit a million vaccinations in the state.

Queens diversity and vaccine distribution

Queens currently has a 59% vaccination rate. What is it attributed to?

Richards said a lot of work went into getting more people vaccinated. He said they worked with many lawmakers to get the word out and expand testing and vaccination sites. 

He also said it was important to stress to the mayor and governor “Queens cannot play second fiddle to any other borough.”

Queens is “moving in the right direction,” Richards said. 

What else needs to be done?

“Education is critical,” Richards said, referencing a lot of misinformation, with pockets of communities that believe if you’ve had covid you don’t need to get vaccinated.

As rules are relaxed, Richards said he is worried about unvaccinated people going out and not listening to guidelines. 

What needs to be done moving forward?

Preparedness, Richards said. During the pandemic, many institutions didn’t have the resources needed.

The city also needs to address the disparities that were brought to light during the pandemic.