A Sleeves Up vaccination event is set for this Wednesday in Lafayette, and health officials are reminding residents of the importance of being vaccinated.
The event will be held on Wednesday, July 28, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Progressive Baptist Church Community Outreach Center, located at 125 Gallian Street in Lafayette. The Office of Public Health will offer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.
Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also schedule an appointment by calling 337-262-5311 or by clicking here.
Dr. Tina Stefanski, Regional Medical Director for the OPH in Acadiana, urges everyone to get vaccinated - regardless of if it's at a community event like this one or a local pharmacy - after a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.
According to Stefanski, 30% of the population is fully vaccinated in Acadiana, while infection rates and hospitalizations increase at a "tremendous rate." More than 85% of circulating COVID-19 infections is the Delta variant, a much more contagious strain. Hospitalizations have quadrupled since the beginning of July, and that number is driven by people who haven't been fully vaccinated, Stefanski said - more than 90% of the hospitalizations and deaths over the last week have been individuals not fully vaccinated.
The vaccine is proven to be effective against the Delta variant, said Stefanski, and even those who have had COVID-19 in the past should get vaccinated. She explained that the antibodies from previous COVID-19 infections aren't enough to work against the variant; people need a higher level of protection.
"Get vaccinated now to boost that immunity," Dr. Stefanski said.
Stefanski encouraged those who are hesitant about rolling up their sleeves to visit a community testing site and speak with someone getting vaccinated or a healthcare official administering the shot.
"There is unity in this message throughout the medical community locally and nationally that these vaccines are extremely effective," she added. "We can answer people's safety concerns. They're safe."
If you can't make it to this event, you can call 211 or visit the Acadiana Planning Commission website to find upcoming dates. For a full list of testing and vaccination sites in Louisiana, click here.
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