Gov. John Bel Edwards urges Louisianans to get vaccinated as cases rise

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BATON ROUGE – As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise among unvaccinated Louisianans, Governor John Bel Edwards called on all Louisianans to take action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in state by getting vaccinated if they haven’t, or by helping their family, friends and neighbors get vaccinated.

Between February and July, unvaccinated people in Louisiana were 20 times more likely to get sick with COVID-19.

“If you haven’t taken any of the COVID-19 vaccines and are 12 years of age or older, it’s time to run, not walk, to one of over 1,400 places where they are readily available. throughout the state of Louisiana. ” Edwards said. “The Delta variant of COVID is now the dominant strain in Louisiana, and without the protection offered by safe and effective vaccines, you are much more likely to get sick with COVID in Louisiana. Our hospitals are again overcrowded with limited staff capacity, and the vast majority of COVID patients are not yet fully vaccinated against the disease.

“To those who are vaccinated, thank you for taking this important step to protect yourself and those around you. Today, I invite all of you to advocate for the COVID-19 vaccination, as research shows that many people who had questions changed their minds after hearing from doctors, family members and others. friends, ”Edwards said. “Please contact the people in your life who you know have not been vaccinated and have private conversations with them about their questions, fears and obstacles they may face in getting the vaccine. COVID-19. Help them get good safety information and let them know that you care about them and want them protected. Consider helping them get an appointment or even providing transportation to get the vaccine. We’re all in the same boat and we can make a difference – but we have limited time to do it. “

“COVID-19 cases are increasing among the unvaccinated in Louisiana. It is not an epidemic, it is not a region. This is a statewide problem, ”said Dr Joseph Kanter, head of public health. “And because our statewide immunization rate is too low, everyone is at high risk and should take immediate precautions for their safety and that of their family.”

LDH reaffirms the following guidelines for individuals in Louisiana:

  • If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you should mask yourself and stay away from public places, especially indoors, for your safety and that of those around you.
  • If you are fully vaccinated you get very good protection, but not absolute. Your risk, while relatively low, will increase as the amount of COVID-19 circulating in your community increases. Masking and distancing, especially indoors, will increase your security if you desire extra protection.
  • If you are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19 due to advanced age or an underlying health condition, or if you have a member of your family unit who is, LDH strongly recommends that you consider masking yourself and moving away indoors and / or near others for additional protection.

FACTS ABOUT THE DELTA VARIANT

Having had COVID-19 previously does not offer protection against the Delta variant, which is much more contagious and is now the dominant strain in Louisiana and the country. However, one of the three vaccines has been shown to be effective against COVID-19 in general and against the Delta variant in particular.

Due to the current pace of vaccinations and the spread of the more contagious Delta variant, Louisiana’s COVID-19 trends continue to worsen:

  • The number of new cases diagnosed each day in Louisiana has been increasing since June 16 and increasing in all nine regions of the state. The average daily number of cases per 100,000 people statewide has increased 177% in the past 14 days.
  • The number of hospital patients with COVID-19 across Louisiana has increased over the past 14 days, with 245 additional hospital patients added during that time, as of today. This is double the number from two weeks ago.
  • The statewide positivity percentage of new COVID-19 tests performed is now 6.3% and has increased in the past five weeks.
  • During the past week, 35 new outbreaks and 200 new cases associated with the outbreaks were identified. This represents a 169% increase in the number of reported outbreaks and a 96% increase in the number of outbreak-associated cases compared to the previous week. The settings where the epidemic is increasing the most are camps, daycares, religious services and restaurants. In addition to the widespread circulation of the more transmissible Delta variant, insufficient masking and distancing, especially in unvaccinated people, also contributes to the spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is still the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community from 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 that are currently spreading in Louisiana, the protection is not absolute. The LDH is aware of a small number of “revolutionary cases” or of individuals who contracted COVID-19 while being fully vaccinated.

So far, more than 184 million Americans – including more than 1.8 million Louisianans – have taken at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines, which are safe and effective against COVID.

CDC says 99.2% of all deaths from COVID-19 are in unvaccinated people, meaning that the vaccines available are highly effective against current variants of COVID-19, including Delta, which is the strain dominant in Louisiana.

HOW TO GET A COVID VACCINE IN LOUISIANA

Anyone aged 12 and over is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. The FDA has only authorized one of three COVID-19 vaccines – from Pfizer – for children aged 12 to 17. Parents should confirm with the vaccine supplier that their child is under 18 to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available before making an appointment.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at 1,437 locations in Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including pharmacies, hospitals, health care clinics and doctor’s offices.
  • For a list of locations, visit the LDH Vaccine Directory or visit vaccins.gov, which is maintained by the federal government.
  • For a list of vaccine locations near you, send your postal code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.
  • If you have any questions, want to speak with a healthcare professional, or need help making an appointment, call the Louisiana Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774.


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