According to the Washington Post, an analysis of COVID-19 vaccination rates across the country reveals that Red River Parish trails both the state of Louisiana as a whole and surrounding parishes in the percent of the population that has received the vaccine. Dan Keating was the lead author of the article in the Washington Post published March 27th. Data from the Centers for Disease Control was the basis of the report.
Yashica Turner of the local health unit said the numbers they are getting form the state vary slightly with those in the Washington Post report.
Dan Keating reported, “The first nationwide look at vaccination across counties reveals vast differences in the rate that people are receiving protection from the coronavirus, with notably lower rates in predominantly Black areas and counties that voted most heavily for President Donald Trump in 2020.
Digging into the Red River data, 10.6% of the population has received the vaccine. Those 18+ are at 13.9% and 36.2% of people over age 65 had been vaccinated. See the chart below for a comparison of the state as a whole and four surrounding parishes in northwest Louisiana.
There is a considerable gap in the vaccination rate for the parish’s oldest citizens (age 65+). Red River trails the state (with 53.1% vaccination rate) and surrounding parishes. It would appear from the chart below that urban parishes have a higher rate of vaccination of residents of all ages than rural parishes.
For the states with usable information, 45 percent of people age 65 and older, 18.2 percent of all adults 18 or older, and 14.3 percent of the entire population are fully vaccinated.
The records don’t indicate large differences between urban and rural areas. Major cities, suburbs, smaller cities and rural areas have roughly the same rates for all adults and for adults 65 and older.
Nursing Supervisor Yashica Turner of the Red River Parish Health Unit looked up the figures from the La. Dept. of Health. She said, “As of Thursday, Apr 1st, Vaccination Series initiated 1,655. Series completed 1,144. Total population of the parish, according to LDH is 8,618. And the total population vaccinated is 13.27%.” Turner said the state did not give a breakdown by age groups.
Yashica said some of the difficulties have been with lack of people making appointments to get the vaccinations. She said also they are doing drive thru vaccinations in conjunction with EMS. Three drive-thru events have been held and more are planned.
Turner said, “The next drive thru vaccinations offered by the Health Unit will be next Thursday and Friday at the EMS office in the Industrial Park. You must call the health unit first to pre-register. There is no cost and no proof of insurance needed. Call 932-4087 to make an appointment. Leave a message on the weekend. For those who have to work during regular clinic hours, afternoon/evening/weekend drive thru events will be make available.