Officials use various means to allay vaccine hesitancy as federal site reopens Tuesday
BATON ROUGE - After a less than stellar turnout over the weekend, local leaders are still hoping droves of residents will eventually make use of the new, federally funded Mass Vaccine Site on Florida Boulevard.
With herd immunity as the goal, local officials say they're ramping up efforts to educate the public about the two COVID-19 vaccines that are available to U.S. residents, and encouraging these individuals to be inoculated as quickly as possible.
Officials are accomplishing this by means of door-to-door campaigns designed to engage citizens in face-to-face conversations on vaccination efforts. During these doorstep discussions, officials hope to allay individual concerns related to the vaccines.
In addition to this, community leaders are offering incentives and even transportation to help citizens get to the new site.
During a recent interview with WBRZ, Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome touched on the possibility of vaccine hesitancy due to the recent controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
The popular company's COVID-19 vaccine is no longer being utilized by the U.S. as health experts study its possible connection with the development of potentially deadly blood clots.
Mayor Broome said, "As it stands, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. with little or no side effects."
Mayor Broome continued, "The information regarding Johnson & Johnson vaccines could be promoting a little hesitancy. Actually, it's imperative we understand this has no effect on the safety of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. And our site is using Pfizer."
The Florida Boulevard location is one of only 12 federally operated sites in the nation.
As of Tuesday, hundreds of locals have been inoculated at the site, and officials hope to see thousands more.
The site, which is located in the parking lot of Florida Boulevard's Bon Carre Business Center, will operate for eight weeks, Tuesday through Sunday, with drive through hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Walk-ups are also accepted.
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