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More Effort Needed To Overcome Vaccination Concerns

With the unexpected arrival of the pandemic, it was only a matter of time before a vaccine would be released to the public for a return to normal. However, so many are against the newly released vaccine, but for what reason? Dr. Anita Sharma speaks with Shirley Merrick, executive director of the Louisiana Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs, about the importance of increasing the rates of COVID-19 vaccination among older adults. 

Why do you think vaccination rates have decreased in the past few months, especially among senior citizens?

I believe there is a major lack of trust in the system and the vaccine. People have listened to many negative things about the vaccine and have stood with that negative thought in their decision making upon vaccination. 

What can we do to convince older adults to get vaccinated?

They should get vaccinated specifically because we are in that age group that is more likely to perish. The Louisiana Department of Health website data in July 2021 indicated nearly 102,000 cases of COVID among the age groups of around 65 years old and 9.1% (9,280) of those seniors died. Compared to the 100,256 cases among ages 18-29, in which only 0.0004% (42) died. It is very imperative that we get vaccinated based off those numbers alone. 

Do you think the rates of deaths and infections continue to be different from minority populations? 

Yes indeed, further data showed that that we are not getting vaccinated at the rate of the Caucasian population. If we get the vaccine, we have a greater chance of not succumbing to the virus. 

Originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, Harper Innis is a Vocal Music Education major at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His ambitions are reinforced with a strong will as he always tries to spread joy to the ones around him.
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