As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to surge among unvaccinated Louisianans, Gov. John Bel Edwards is calling upon all Louisianans to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state by getting their vaccine if they have not yet done so or by helping their family, friends and neighbors get the shot. Between February and July of 2021, unvaccinated people in Louisiana were 20 times more likely to become ill with COVID-19.
“If you have not taken one of the COVID-19 vaccines and you’re 12 or older, it’s time to run, not walk, to one of the more than 1,400 locations where they are readily available all across the state of Louisiana,” Gov. Edwards said. “The Delta variant of COVID is now the dominant strain in Louisiana and without the protection that the safe and effective vaccines offer, you are far more likely to become ill with COVID in Louisiana. Our hospitals are again stretched thin with limited staff capacity, and the vast majority of COVID patients are not yet fully vaccinated against the illness.
“To those who are vaccinated, thank you for taking this important step to protect yourselves and those around you. Today, I’m drafting you all into advocacy for vaccination against COVID-19, because research shows that many people who had questions changed their minds after hearing from doctors, family members and friends,” Gov. Edwards said. “Please, reach out to the people in your life who you know have not been vaccinated and have private conversations with them about their questions, fears and the barriers they may face in getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Help them get good information about how safe it is, and explain that you care about them and want them to be protected. Consider assisting them in getting an appointment or even offering transportation to get the shot. We’re all in this together and we can turn things around – but we have a limited time to do so.”
“COVID-19 cases are surging among the unvaccinated in Louisiana. It’s not one outbreak, it’s not one region. This is a statewide problem,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. “And because our statewide vaccination rate is too low everyone is at elevated risk and should take precautions immediately for the safety of themselves and their families.”
LDH reaffirms the following guidance for individuals in Louisiana:
FACTS ABOUT THE DELTA VARIANT
Having had COVID-19 before does not offer protection against the Delta variant, which is much more contagious and is now the dominant strain in Louisiana and the country. Getting any one of the three vaccines, however, has proven to be effective against COVID-19 in general and the Delta variant specifically.
As a result of the current pace of vaccinations and the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, Louisiana’s COVID-19 trends continue to worsen:
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine remains the single best way of protecting yourself, your family and your community against COVID-19. While the protection provided by each of the three currently available COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson) is very good against COVID-19 and the variants currently spreading in Louisiana, the protection is not absolute. LDH is aware of a small number of “breakthrough cases,” or individuals who contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
So far, more than 184 million Americans – including more than 1.8 million Louisianans – have taken at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective against COVID.
The CDC says 99.2% of all COVID-19 deaths are in unvaccinated people, meaning the available vaccines are very effective against the current COVID-19 variants, including Delta, which is the dominant strain in Louisiana.
HOW TO GET A COVID VACCINE IN LOUISIANA
Everyone aged 12 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 12 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.
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