Gov. Edwards reflects on one-year anniversary of COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana

Coronavirus

FILE – In this Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021 file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine clinic in Santa Ana, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – So what has the first year looked like since the COVID-19 vaccine became available in Louisiana?

The first COVID-19 vaccinations were made available in Louisiana on December 24, 2020.

Gov. Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health are delving into progress made in the state.

According to the governor’s office, “More than 2.29 million Louisianans – nearly 50 percent of the state’s population – became fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the first year of vaccinations.”

The report from the governor’s office states that most current COVID hospitalizations involve individuals who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“One year ago, I was proud and hopeful as I witnessed Nurse Deborah Ford receive the first COVID-19 vaccine dose in the state of Louisiana. Since that day, I am proud to see that more than 2.29 million Louisianans have gone sleeves up and are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Just one year ago today, we had 1,527 people hospitalized with COVID. Today, thanks to the vaccine, that number is below 200,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “That is not to say the past year has not been without tragedy and loss. We’ve seen more than 500,000 COVID infections in Louisiana in the last year, and we’ve lost at least 8,052 Louisianans in that time alone, especially when the very strong Delta variant tore through our state, killing thousands. As has been true since the start of the pandemic, the vast majority of people who have died or become critically ill from COVID were not vaccinated – either because the vaccine was not available in the early months of the pandemic or they simply had not taken it yet. Fortunately, the vaccines are here and widely available now, and the importance of taking the vaccines along with the boosters when eligible simply cannot be stressed enough, especially now that the Omicron variant is here. They are our best and most effective path of protection for ourselves, loved ones and community.

The Office of the Governor is highlighting some of the positive results over the last year.

  • Over 4.7 million doses administered
  • More than 2.5 million residents have at least one dose of the vaccine
  • 544,000 booster doses have been given out
  • State’s percent positivity is at 2.3 percent

“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,” Gov. Edwards said. “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.”

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit LDH COVID-19 Information.

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