State officials push African-American community to get vaccinated in Ascension Parish
GONZALES - Hundreds came out Sunday afternoon for a community vaccination event at St. Paul Baptist Church in Gonzales.
The Louisiana Department of Health Secretary, Dr. Courtney Phillips came out to personally oversee the operation.
"We're about 22% in terms of African Americans that have been vaccinated here in Louisiana. Of course, we want our vaccination rates to match our population, so we have some work to do. " Dr. Phillips said.
African Americans make up more than 30 percent of the state's population, and black churches are being enlisted to increase vaccinations in the Black community.
The pastor of St. Paul, Rev. Lauthaught Delaney was one of the first to be vaccinated.
"A lot of our people have questions about what's going on, and I wanted to show them that everything is well," Rev. Delaney said.
Church member Virginia Peray waited almost an hour to receive the vaccine.
"I feel like everyone is going to need the shot, in order for us to get better and get back to normal,"
Even though 600 doses were made available only 325 people pre-registered for the vaccination.
Dr. Eric Peters was the pharmacist in charge of administering the vaccines at the event.
"We wanted to make sure that we can provide access to those people so they can get vaccinated so we can take care of people in that community," Dr. Peters said.
The church will hold another community vaccination next month so those who received the vaccination today can get the second dose as well.