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Governor says vaccine hesitancy started earlier than anticipated



BATON ROUGE, La. – Fewer and fewer people are getting vaccinated for COVID-19 in Louisiana.

“It has slowed, no question about that,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Governor John Bel Edwards alongside Kanter Wednesday afternoon said there is more vaccine hesitancy than he would like, and that we’ve reached a drop off in demand earlier than expected.

“Part of that is moving from the open eligibility where everyone who is motivated goes and gets it, to a more thoughtful, more on the ground phase, which just takes a little bit more time,” said Kanter.

Right now, 27 percent of the state is fully vaccinated, and 32 percent have at least one shot. It’s been more than one month since the state opened up the vaccine eligibility pool to everyone who is old enough.

“It’s taking longer to get people vaccinated than we would like. We knew this day would come. And we were hoping, quite frankly, that it would come after more people had availed themselves. I don’t know that our experience here is markedly different than many other states, especially in our region. But what I want to assure everyone is there is a vaccine dose for you right now at more than 1,500 locations across the state of Louisiana, and we encourage you to take advantage of that,” said Edwards.

With the vaccine lag, the state will only be accepting about 80 percent of its allotted vaccine doses.