COVID-19 vaccinations are moving along at an impressive clip in Louisiana, but not all communities have had equal access to the potentially lifesaving shots. Immunizing residents who face obstacles in making appointments or getting to vaccination sites has emerged as a major challenge.
In Baton Rouge, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome’s administration is finding creative ways to meet hard-to-reach residents where they live, literally. This week, East Baton Rouge Parish partnered with the Council on Aging, state Department of Health, HealthyBR and Emergency Medical Services to offer shots to homebound clients of the Meals on Wheels program. Future plans include expanding door-to-door canvasses and setting up phone banks to identify those still in need of vaccination.
The idea grew out of the mayor’s health equity task force, which set out to find ways to increase access to, and comfort with, the new vaccines.
"Increasing equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine in our underserved communities is essential to protecting our most vulnerable residents while helping to end the pandemic in Baton Rouge,” Broome said.
She’s right, and we applaud the administration’s effort to protect the population and eliminate dangerous disparities.