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National report highlights Louisiana's low vaccination rate

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 14, 2021

Louisiana is one of five states making up a third of COVID-19 cases in the nation.

The high case count among the unvaccinated comes amid news of a forecasted rise in coronavirus hospitalizations in the next month, according to the CDC.

Since late April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been reporting a steady decline in hospitalizations. Now, the forecast shows up to 11,000 new hospital admissions by early August.

About 34% of people living in Lafayette Parish are fully vaccinated against COVID_19, but as the Delta variant spreads, health officials worry the number of people getting the shot isn't high enough. And it's now getting attention at a national level.

CNN was in Acadiana Wednesday, broadcasting live to cover Louisiana having one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, right under Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

According to LDH, Louisiana lags behind with about 36% of residents fully vaccinated, compared with the national average of about 49%.

Acadiana's regional medical director Dr. Tina Stefanski says she's concerned about the recent COVID-19 stats.

"If we don't do something to change the course, we're just going to continue on the same course," Stefanski says.

"We're seeing patients in their 30s and 40s," explained Dr. John Bruchhaus of St. Francis Medical Center. "99% of the patients that are presenting are unvaccinated people that are having symptoms to the emergency room."

Our Lady of Lourdes attributes the recent spike to the region's low vaccination rate, the Delta variant, and relaxed COVID-19 precautions.

"We've had almost no vaccinated patients admitted. I think we've had one total for as far back as I can remember. All these patients currently right now are unvaccinated," said Dr. Frank Courmier.

State leaders continue to push for more people to get vaccinated.

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