West Baton Rouge Parish leaders concerned young population is skipping Covid-19 vaccine

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PORT ALLEN, La. (BRPROUD)– West Baton Rouge Parish President Riley Berthelot says the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been smooth, but he is concerned the parishes younger population isn’t getting vaccinated.

On Monday March 29th, the state expanded eligibility for residents 16 and up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. John Bel Edwards made the announcement a week ago. Right after the announcement pharmacists and physicians offices in the parish started scheduling appointments.

“Even though it was announced last week that eligibility would open for everyone we haven’t been flooded with phone calls from the population of younger people in the area, so we are concerned,” West Baton Rouge Primary Nurse Johnette Kay said.

Kay says this is different than when the vaccine was only available to patients 65 and older. “At one point we had a wait list of more than 2,000 people.”

“We’ve just got to encourage them to do it because it’s better for everyone,” Berthelot said.

The Parish President says mass vaccination sites are coming soon in West Baton Rouge Parish. He hopes young people will take advantage of easy and convenient drive thru vaccination sites.

“We are going to try and line up 500 people in advance.. or first come first serve whatever it takes to get it done.. we are going to bring in help to get those vaccines out,” Berthelot said.

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