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Gov. Edwards speaks on vaccine disparities

Gov. Edwards discusses vaccine disparities in a briefing | 2/26/21
Gov. Edwards discusses vaccine disparities in a briefing | 2/26/21(KSLA)
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 1:11 AM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 27, 2021 at 9:07 PM CST - Updated February 27 at 9:07 PM on ksla.com)

SHREVEPORT, La. (Great Health Divide) - Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards spoke at a vaccine clinic in north Baton Rouge on Friday, Feb. 26.

While there, Gov. Edwards addressed the disparities in healthcare when it comes to accessing the COVID-19 vaccines in underserved communities.

“I think it’s a combination of both [lack of access and hesitancy]. So what we have to do is focus on making sure that there are not barriers. And many times the barriers, in fact in every case, are unintended. What we know is it’s not enough to simply make the vaccine available in underserved communities like north Baton Rouge, but you actually have to make sure that it’s meaningfully available,” said Edwards.

He discussed some of the solutions for the disparities, noting mindful planning as a main component.

“It might be the specific site that the event is going to be held, it could be whether individuals have to use the internet in order to schedule the appointment or can they also use a phone? What kind of communication are you providing in that community to make sure that people avail themselves to the opportunity?” said Edwards.

Gov. Edwards also spoke on percentages of those being vaccinated, stating that data involving race is improving.

“We have to keep working to make sure that we have a vaccination program that is both efficient, which I demand, and equitable, which I demand,” concluded Edwards.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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