Louisiana lags behind vaccination curve in U.S.

Even as the nation closes in on the 70 percent July 4 COVID-19 vaccination goal — one that will be missed — Louisiana is continuing to lag behind the curve in the percentage of the state’s population that has completed the vaccination process.

Nationwide, only 45.4 percent of the populace has received a full course of COVID-19 vaccine. In the 65 and over population, that number climbs to 77.3 percent, with 46.1 percent of all adults 18 years of age or older fully vaccinated.

In Louisiana, those numbers are not quite as high. In fact, when compared to the other 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Pelican State comes in 47th — ahead of only Wyoming, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.

Compared to the Gulf South states which are bringing up the rear, the four states that have 60 percent or more of their populations fully vaccinated are in the northeast. Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts all have more than 60 percent of their citizens fully vaccinated, with Rhode Island less than a step behind at 59.2 percent.

Barely more than a third of Louisiana’s population — 33.9 percent, to be exact — is currently fully vaccinated. In the 65 and over population, 74.1 percent of the state’s most at-risk residents are fully vaccinated, but only 43.5 percent of the adult population, those 18 years of age or older, have completed their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations.

If you add in all those who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the total climbs to 37.6 percent.

In the Teche Area, the numbers are even worse. Less than 30 percent of the population of Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes are fully vaccinated — 27.45 percent in Iberia, 27.77 percent in St. Martin and 27.78 in St. Mary.

More urban Lafayette Parish is at 32.6 percent fully vaccinated. Orleans Parish is at 46.2 percent, with only West Feliciana scoring a higher percentage of fully vaccinated residents at 47.87 percent.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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