BATON ROUGE, La. (KLFY) — December 14, 2020, is the day the first Louisianan was vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, a year later, nearly half of the state’s population has been fully vaccinated against the disease.
Over the year, Louisiana has seen a decrease in the number of people hospitalized with COVID as well as a decrease in the percent of COVID tests that are positive. Today, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the vast majority of COVID hospitalizations, cases, and deaths are among those who are not vaccinated.
Since Dec. 14, 2020, more than 4.7 million doses of the vaccines have been administered in Louisiana. More than 2.5 million residents of the state have at least one dose, and more than 544,000 booster shots have been administered, according to the LDH.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly 25% of eligible Louisianans have received their booster doses.
Louisiana has also seen an eight-fold decrease in COVID hospitalizations compared to this time last year. The percent of positive tests has also decreased significantly – from 10% of all tests being positive in December of 2020, to 2.3% of all tests being positive now.
The vaccines are safe and effective and, in Louisiana, they’ve only resulted in a handful of severe adverse reactions and zero deaths. We have worked hard with public health officials, the Louisiana National Guard, medical professionals, local leaders and community groups to make these free, safe and effective vaccines accessible all across the Louisiana. The COVID-19 vaccination effort has been a marvel of modern science and medicine unseen in any of our lifetimes. It is my fervent hope and prayer that all those who are not yet vaccinated will pause and take the time to speak with their doctor or a medical professional about this life-saving vaccine so that we do not have to say goodbye to any more of our Louisiana brothers and sisters.Gov. John Bel Edwards
Health officials commended the vaccine and its effectiveness in offering extra safety against the disease.
“Receiving my COVID-19 vaccine alongside my colleagues was a moment that I will always remember,” said Debbie Ford, Chief Nursing Officer at Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans and Louisiana’s first vaccine recipient. “Vaccines deliver protection and they also delivered hope to those of us fighting the pandemic.”
HOW TO GET A COVID VACCINE IN LOUISIANA:
Everyone aged 5 and older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. The FDA has only authorized one of the three COVID-19 vaccines – from Pfizer – for children ages 5 to 17. Parents should confirm with the vaccine provider that their child is under 18 to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available before making an appointment.
- COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at more than 1,000 locations in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including at pharmacies, hospitals, health care clinics, and doctor’s offices.
- For a list of locations, visit LDH’s vaccine directory or visit vaccines.gov, which is maintained by the federal government.
- To get a list of vaccine locations near you text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English, or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.
If you have questions, would like to speak with a medical professional, or need help scheduling an appointment, call 211 or Louisiana’s vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774