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Adeline Delaune, an LSU senior from Thibodaux, gets a shot of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from La. Army National Guard Spc. Jazshynikea Hibbler, left, during a mass vaccination event held at LSU's Tiger Stadium, in a partnership with the La. Dept. of Health, the La. National Guard and LSU, Sunday, March 14, 2021. It was expected that 800 doses would be administered by appointment, said La. National Guard Lt. Col. Dorrie Staal, Deputy Commander of Task Force Vaccine.

A sizable number of young people in Louisiana are hesitant to get the coronavirus vaccine, according to the results of polls conducted by LSU's Public Policy Research Lab and the Louisiana Public Health Institute.

40% of young adults aged 18 to 29 who participated in LSU’s poll said they did not plan on getting the vaccine if it was available to them. Similarly, 44% of adults from the ages of 30 to 49 also said they were uninterested in getting their shot if it was available.

LSU’s survey was conducted from January 4 to March 1 and included 781 randomly selected adults from across the state who participated in phone interviews. The study has a margin of error of 6.4%.

Another survey conducted by the Louisiana Public Health Initiative showed 46% of young adults aged 18 to 29 were hesitant to get the vaccine while 21% were unwilling to get the vaccine at all.

LPHI’s survey polled 1,096 individuals and skewed toward younger, more educated participants, likely because it was conducted online and excluded those who many not have easy access to the internet. It was conducted between February 4 and March 1.

Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, associate professor of epidemiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, said that's not surprising given that young people are at a lower risk of severe illness and have fewer interactions with health care providers. Still, she said it'll be important to reach them if the state hopes to inoculate at least 75% of the population to achieve herd immunity.

On Monday, the vaccine eligibility was opened in the state for anyone who is 16 and older.


Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater