Published: April 6, 2021
By: Samantha Beekman | LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — In the four months since the first vaccination against COVID-19 in Louisiana, over 2 million doses of the vaccines have been administered across the state, the Louisiana Department of Health reported Monday.
Over one in four Louisianans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and about 17.9% are considered fully vaccinated.
Praise for the vaccine accompanies vaccine selfies and pictures of vaccination cards on social media, and many are encouraging others to get the vaccine as well.
“Everyone should go out and get this done!” Thomas G. Voss, Ph.D., posted on Twitter in the week leading up to this milestone. “The life you save could be your own.”
Friday, LSU football fan Zach Rau posted: “If you’re on the fence about vaccination, consider what joys await you in the fall at the tailgate.”
Why is the state behind on vaccinations?
Despite these gains, Louisiana ranks 45th in the nation in the percentage of its population that has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Sunday. New data from the LSU Public Policy Research Lab could help explain why the state is behind.
According to a survey that the lab released Thursday, a third of Louisiana adults said that they would refuse a vaccine against COVID-19. This figure includes 43% of Republicans who do not intend to receive the vaccine even when they are eligible. They are joined by only 13% of Democrats who do not want the vaccine.
This reticence comes even as health care experts herald the vaccine as the key to ending the pandemic and reopen the economy. In a press conference Tuesday, Gov. Edwards said one of the best strategies to “win the race” is vaccination in conjunction with masking and social distancing.
While state and national officials have been concerned with racial inequity in vaccine administration among people in minority communities, survey data suggests that mistrust of the vaccine does not fully explain the slow start in equitable vaccination.
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