The evidence to support getting vaccinated against coronavirus is mounting. However, there are still a lot of people who, for various reasons, do not plan to get the vaccine. The fact that so many in Louisiana are either opting out of getting vaccinated or have been slow to decide to get vaccinated is very troubling to Louisiana's medical community.

The latest information being reported from Ochsner Health System suggests that in many cases the decision to get a vaccination or not is boiling down to a life or death decision. But maybe it could and should be presented in that way.

Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, the Director of Infection Control and Prevention at Ochsner told the Louisiana Radio Network that 94% of Covid cases and 97% of Covid deaths are from unvaccinated patients.

In her comments to LRN, Dr. Baumgarten offered this chilling reminder.

We talk about the numbers often but I think what we need to remember is these aren’t just numbers these are people. These are people of our community, they’re family members

The healthcare community is blaming Louisiana residents' hesitancy to get vaccinated against coronavirus on misinformation. There have been misleading and totally uninformed stories surrounding the vaccines filling up social media news feeds for months. So, it is difficult to "discover" the truth if you can't trust the information.

That's why healthcare leaders and government leaders are asking you to do your own due diligence and speak to your healthcare provider. Your doctor will know whether or not the vaccine is a good idea for you. You can ask your questions and demand answers. Then, make a better decision about what your next steps should be.

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Governor John Bel Edwards in his statewide radio show suggested that a return to face coverings indoors for both vaccinated and especially the unvaccinated would be a good idea. The Governor made that statement as Louisiana recorded its third-highest daily case count since the pandemic began with yesterday's report from the Department of Health.

In the meantime, all of the standard Covid protocols are still a good idea to follow, even if you've already gotten the jab(s). Wash your hands, keep your distance, stay home if you are sick, and avoid large groups when you can. Those protocols have kept a lot of us well over the past year and a half and they should continue to do so.

Please speak with your healthcare provider and continue to do what you've been doing to remain well.

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