Louisiana News

Louisiana launches COVID-19 vaccine hotline

(The Center Square) – Louisiana has launched a COVID-19 vaccine hotline for residents who have questions about the vaccines or would like help scheduling a vaccination appointment.

The number is 1-855-453-0774, and the hotline’s hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

About 28% of the state’s population has at least started the process of getting vaccinated, Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health said Thursday. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to get the full benefit, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.

State officials expect to get 64,350 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 47,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine and 8,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson next week, Kanter said. Those numbers don’t include doses the federal government sends directly to pharmacies, which amounted to more than 111,000 doses this week, he said.

A recent poll indicated almost one-third of the state’s population, including almost half of Republicans, did not plan to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Kanter said officials are finding that people who are hesitant are more open to getting a vaccine the more they learn about them.

Kanter said state officials have identified 170 “breakthrough cases” of Louisiana residents who got COVID-19 even after getting fully vaccinated, which represents 0.02% of people who have been vaccinated. Just more than half reported experiencing symptoms and 11 (0.001%) have been hospitalized.

“No vaccine for any disease is 100% effective in 100% of circumstances,” Kanter said.

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