NEW ORLEANS— In the fight against COVID-19, Louisiana is way behind than other states in vaccination rates and doctors say that needs to change.
Louisiana is lagging behind the country in COVID-19 vaccinations. The average vaccine rate is 50 percent nation-wide, but in Louisiana only 30 percent of folks are fully vaccinated.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of reason for vaccine hesitancy. The reasons are wide-ranging from it was developed too quickly to it has not proven to work to I don’t believe in COVID. The reasons are far ranging,” Dr. Leron Finger at Children’s Hospital New Orleans said.
Breaking down those fully vaccinated parish by parish. According to the CDC— In Plaquemines Parish 35 percent are vaccinated. In St. Tammany Parish and Jefferson Parish 38 percent are vaccinated. In St. Bernard Parish 27 percent are vaccinated. Both LaFourche Parish and Terrebonne Parish have the lowest vaccination rates with 25 and 24 percent. Orleans Parish is doing the best with 46 percent fully vaccinated.
“Orleans Parish felt the brunt of the disease in March and April of 2020. Many people were affected or there is one degree of separation from someone who suffered from COVID-19,” Dr. Finger said.
Doctors say the numbers of vaccinations need to increase if we want life to get back to the way it was pre-pandemic.
“Hopefully the other parishes can catch up and hopefully we can catch up to those states that are 70 to 80 percent vaccinated,” he said.
One of the ways doctors say to get those vaccination numbers up is to get teens vaccinated.
“I feel like teens can help drive this with their families. I hope they can help us get the vaccine that we need to get to. These vaccines are safe and very effective,” Dr. Finger said.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital say they are seeing a slight increase in teens getting the vaccine, now that school is out for the summer. Governor John Bel Edwards is also looking into incentives to try and get more folks vaccinated in Louisiana.