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Vaccine equity project aimed to give more shots to low vaccinated areas

Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Louisiana has now administered over 2.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but Region 6 in Central Louisiana is still falling behind other parts of the state.

“Together Louisiana” is doing their part to get more shots into arms. The organization has been hiring neighborhood canvassers in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Alexandria and Shreveport for the vaccine equity project.

Spencena Milton, a member of the group, said, “They appreciate us coming to their neighborhoods and giving them the information they need.”

The team goes door-to-door in the low-vaccinated and low-income neighborhoods to sign people up for the vaccine who don’t have access to transportation or don’t have the time to wait at mass vaccination sites.

“There’s a lot of people that really wanted to take the vaccine but did not have the knowledge to know where to go and a lot of them were afraid,” said Milton.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, Region 6 is sitting at nearly 19 percent fully vaccinated, the second-lowest region in the state.

The group members said they’ve already signed up over 100 people in a week to get the vaccine.

Lakiesha Brown, another canvasser for “Together Louisiana,” said, “If you take the time to explain it to them, nine times out of 10, they will change their mind on the spot and say ‘I’m ready for the shot.’”

“Together Louisiana” said they work to build trust by talking one-on-one with people in the neighborhoods and hope they spread the message to others to get the vaccine.

Vaccines will be administered at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Alexandria on Friday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday, May 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The idea that we are actually coming to the community where they are makes them feel safer. They felt they were being overlooked and neglected,” said Roger Green Sr., the pastor at Mt. Zion. “What we have done is brought it to their front door.”

Walk-ups will be welcomed at the church to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

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