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Louisiana Vaccination Rate on the Rise

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Similar to many other states in the Midwest and South, Louisiana has had a low rate of COVID-19 vaccination among its residents. Currently, only about 37.5% of the population in Louisiana has been vaccinated, leading to a surge in delta variant infections. Local hospitals are feeling the strain, with Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge admitting 32 new patients in just one day.

As the number of cases rises, the seriousness of the pandemic is becoming more evident to Louisiana residents, prompting a significant increase in turnout at vaccination sites. The Our Lady of the Lake Injection Clinic at Pennington has seen a threefold increase in first-time vaccinations compared to June, with individuals across all age groups getting vaccinated, averaging around 35 years old.

“I was kind of excited,” said 15-year-old Kate Wilson, expressing her sense of responsibility towards her community. She views getting vaccinated as a necessary step for the greater good.

Reflecting on the impact of the virus, 17-year-old Bethany Wilson talked about a friend who contracted COVID-19, stating, “It kind of just happened so fast that he got admitted to the hospital, then he was on a ventilator. And now, he’s pulling through, he’s doing alright, he’s doing better. But it just scared me because he’s 19. He’s so young. And my brother’s 19.”

Expressing the concern of a parent, Erone Burchell mentioned, “I don’t know as a parent, how I could live with myself if my son, if I didn’t get him vaccinated, he got it [COVID], and then something happened to him. I don’t know how I could live with myself.”

Local resident Kaylan Merritt shared her perspective, saying, “Just hearing that you can get the shot and then still get it, still spread it. I was kind of thinking, ‘Well, what’s the point?’ But then when the Delta variant came out, it kind of urged me to want to get it more. And my family, too,”

Officials are optimistic about this increasing trend in vaccinations and are hopeful that it will continue, as hospitals are struggling to cope with the recent surge.

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