Getting vaccines to the neighborhoods where folks are most vulnerable

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NEW ORLEANS– The supply of COVID vaccines in New Orleans is enough to give a shot to anyone who wants one, but in some parts of the City people haven’t gotten one yet.

The City of New Orleans is trying to fill these empty seats at vaccination sites in areas where folks need the vaccines the most.

“This effort is really going to be happening in the areas that we’ve seen the lowest vaccine rates which are unfortunately the areas where the most COVID illnesses and deaths occurred,” Laura Mellem with NOLA Ready said.

St. Mary of the Angels School in the 9th ward is a designated site to make vaccines more accessible for the elderly, minorities, and those with underlying conditions, and for those without access to transportation.

“We want to make it as accessible to as many people as possible,” Dr. Yvens Laborde, Ochsner Medical Director for Global Health said.

“Our purpose is to remove as many barriers as possible,” he said.

Doctors say with the new UK strain being more contagious, it makes the most vulnerable like the elderly and those with health conditions at the most risk if they aren’t protected by the vaccine.

Nothing was going to stop Tandra Johnson from getting the vaccine. She understands the risk of not getting the shot.

“I have underlying conditions, so I recommend to everyone to get the shot to be protected. It makes me feel safer from getting sick,” she said.

In addition the City is trying to get the word out to people on how to get vaccines through NOLA Ready’s volunteer program. Resilence Force is also helping with the vaccine efforts. Uber, Ride share to Vote, and RTA are offering free rides to vaccination sites to those who need it.

Volunteers are needed to canvas the neighborhoods going door-to-door to give people information on the vaccines and where to go to get them. Currently NOLA Ready has 4,000 volunteers helping in non-medical roles. If you’d like to help NOLA Ready and volunteer, click HERE.

If you need more information about vaccines in your neighborhood, click HERE.

The neighborhoods they are currently targeting to get more people vaccinated are the 9th Ward, Central City, Hollygrove, Gert Town, and parts of New Orleans East.

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