Monroe County using zip code targeting to boost vaccination rates |


Monroe County using zip code targeting to boost vaccination rates

Emily Putnam
Updated: May 29, 2021 11:46 PM
Created: May 29, 2021 11:40 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — First, it was free hot dogs at Frontier Field. Then it was a free lottery ticket. Now, Monroe County officials are taking a new approach to getting people vaccinated -- one zip code at a time. 

At their weekly COVID-19 media briefing on Thursday, County Executive Adam Bello and Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza were joined by Dr. Nancy Bennett, founder and director of the Center for Community Health and Prevention. Bello told us that previous vaccine incentives weren’t working as they’d hoped. 

“What we've found has worked isn't offering large incentives to be able to get people to come in and get a vaccine,” said Bello. “What works is meeting people where they are."

He means that literally. In an effort to “meet people where they are,” the county is using zip code targeting to identify areas with low vaccination rates. All of this data is available to the public. 

"We have data by zip code of vaccination rates in our region,” said Dr. Bennett. “If you go to, there's a beautiful interactive map you can get a huge amount of information from."

So, that’s exactly what News10NBC did. The site shows percentages of people 12 and older who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Of the biggest zip codes in Monroe County outside of the City of Rochester, 14534 (Pittsford) currently has the highest vaccination rate at 83.6%. That’s followed closely by 14586 (West Henrietta) at 80.5%. After that, it’s 14450 (Fairport) at 76.9%.

The data gets very specific – it shows percentages of vaccinated people based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, and where people went to get the shot. It even tells you how many people missed their second dose. 

Dr. Bennett says the county has a team of people working behind the scenes to interpret the zip code data. 

"They look at those data and they make a list of places they think we need to go,” said Dr. Bennett. “They have been really instrumental in scheduling many, many pop-up clinics."

Copyright 2021 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company