With 14 percent of La's residents fully inoculated, expansion of vaccination efforts becomes top priority
BATON ROUGE - As Louisiana prepares for the expansion of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include all residents 16 years of age and older, health officials are eager to reach communities that have yet to be inoculated, and they're urging residents who are still "on the fence" about the vaccine to make a wise decision.
In a Wednesday (March 24) afternoon news conference, Governor John Bel Edwards addressed those who are struggling to decide if the vaccine is a good fit for their health situation, saying, "I strongly encourage you to make this decision for yourself, and reach out to your physician if you have questions."
The Governor added that the state will soon provide additional informational resources to those who are unsure about the vaccine's safety and have other related concerns.
Herd immunity, defined as "resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals as a result of previous infection or vaccination," is the goal and officials realize Louisiana has quite a journey to make before reaching this destination.
According to the most recent report from the Louisiana Department of Health, a total of 407 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the state on Tuesday.
But as the fight against novel coronavirus wages on, the end of the road may be in sight.
Three months in to the vaccination process, 14 percent of the state's population is fully vaccinated, and a total of 1,622,640 vaccine doses have been administered. In addition to this, on Monday, March 29, all residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
The promising statistics and upcoming expanded eligibility offer a ray of hope during an especially challenging time for the state.
Beginning Monday, local health officials will intensify efforts to reach communities that are in need of inoculations.
A full list of vaccination sites can be found here.