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Louisiana vaccine hotline helping book people for shots

April 14, 2021 GMT
Louisiana's Department of Health held a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Broussard, La., Saturday, April 10, 2021, at the Wat Thammarattanaram Lao Buddhist Temple to help expand vaccine access and overcome hesitancy as the state looks to increase the share of residents who are vaccinated for COVID-19 after ranking among the lowest per capita in vaccination rates among states across the country. Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)
Louisiana's Department of Health held a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Broussard, La., Saturday, April 10, 2021, at the Wat Thammarattanaram Lao Buddhist Temple to help expand vaccine access and overcome hesitancy as the state looks to increase the share of residents who are vaccinated for COVID-19 after ranking among the lowest per capita in vaccination rates among states across the country. Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than 1,000 people have called into Louisiana’s coronavirus vaccine hotline since it launched a week ago, and one-third of those callers have signed up for vaccination appointments, according to state health department data released Wednesday.

Louisiana launched the hotline at 1-855-453-0774 last week to help people schedule appointments and to connect those reluctant about getting the shot to medical professionals who can answer questions. It’s part of a broader statewide effort to try to overcome vaccine reluctance.

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As of Wednesday morning, the health department said the hotline had received 1,063 calls, and 348 of those had registered to get their vaccines. Another 99 people expressed interest in appointments, but ran into problems because they needed to register online first with a nearby vaccine distributor, according to the department.

Anyone age 16 and older in Louisiana is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. Hotline hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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