With the full approval of one vaccine, and more likely to come, is there going to be another season of hope about beating COVID-19?
At the rate we’re going in Louisiana, maybe not.
Resistance continues to getting the shots; there is going to be more resistance to getting booster shots that are now on the horizon, typically eight months from the second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Nowhere is the problem more acute than in small-town Louisiana.
During the earlier spring of hope, when vaccines were rolling out, people clamoring for their shots were trying various means of skipping the queues. One method was to seek out pharmacies or health units in small towns, to get a shot at the first shot without a wait.
Unfortunately, that those shots were available was a foreshadowing a larger problem: Too many folks in the country were not willing to get vaccinated.
Low vaccination rates in rural and suburban Louisiana led to the staggering crisis there today. Small-town hospitals, vital to the physical and social health of their communities, are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
Part of the problem is of course cultural: Low education levels can help online misinformation take deep root, and a lack of internet access can make finding an appointment difficult.
Some say they don’t feel like the virus is a threat because they hardly ever gather in large groups, aside from church services or high school football games.
While true enough, that’s not helping now, and an infectious disease doesn't turn off when people go into town to shop. We hope that full approval of vaccines will turn that corner, but people have to cooperate.
Louisiana must do better.