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1M people in Louisiana fully vaccinated against COVID-19

April 15, 2021 GMT
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Ochsner Health registered nurse Thomas Vangteensburg administers a COVID-19 vaccine to hospitality worker Rosalie Barbish at Tableau restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Ochsner Health had planned to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that morning but pulled it immediately after the CDC and FDA recommended putting a hold on it due to possible blood clotting issues. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)
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Ochsner Health registered nurse Thomas Vangteensburg administers a COVID-19 vaccine to hospitality worker Rosalie Barbish at Tableau restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Ochsner Health had planned to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that morning but pulled it immediately after the CDC and FDA recommended putting a hold on it due to possible blood clotting issues. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — More than 1 million people in Louisiana have completed their coronavirus vaccine series, about 22% of the state’s population, according to the latest health department data released Thursday.

While officials hailed the benchmark, that vaccination rate remains far below the threshold that scientists say is needed to stop the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus.

Louisiana has launched a broad statewide effort to try to overcome vaccine reluctance, that includes a vaccine hotline, an array of community vaccine events and other grassroots outreach work to encourage immunization.

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Anyone age 16 and older in Louisiana is eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be fully effective, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose. But Louisiana, like other states, has stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine while federal officials investigate possible links between the one-shot vaccine and severe blood clots.

More than 1.4 million people in Louisiana — about 31% of the state’s population — have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to state health department data.

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