Where does NWLA stand in terms of COVID-19 vaccinations?

Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 1:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 7:46 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Vaccination efforts in Louisiana continue. In fact, the state just launched a vaccine lottery program to encourage people to get vaccinated.

“I think the most important reason to get vaccinated is because the vaccine will protect you and it will protect your family from COVID infection ... . I think those would be the primary motivators, that we now have a way to safely control this pandemic,” said Dr. Joseph Bocchini, a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

“But if people are also motivated by the potential of winning the lottery, then I think that would be an additional reason for someone to make that decision to get vaccinated.”

So where does northwest Louisiana stand in comparison with the rest of the state?

Dr. Bocchini, who works with Willis-Knighton Health System, said the state still has a long way to go.

“The longer that we’re behind, we have an increased risk of having new variants emerge and outbreaks within smaller parts of our community, where there’s a high rate of individuals who are not vaccinated.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 45% of Americans are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, about 33% of Louisianans and Arkansans and just under 40% of Texans and Oklahomans are fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

“What may happen in the future is, if we don’t get enough control of this virus, that this variant will spread among those people who are still susceptible,” Dr. Bocchini said.

View the full interview with Dr. Bocchini below:

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