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Shreveport: Federal, state and local leaders join to provide COVID vaccine in underserved communities

Coronavirus

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – National, state and local leaders on Tuesday were at a local walk-in COVID-19 clinic as part of a joint effort to make sure everyone in Shreveport has access to the covid-19 vaccine, especially in disproportionately affected communities

The three-hour clinic was held in the Renaissance of Allendale apartments, which is in a community that is in an area that was among those hardest hit by the pandemic.

Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, along with representatives from the Shreveport Housing Authority, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, officials from Ochsner LSU Health and Leslie Bradley, Region VI deputy regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, spoke at a press conference held at the clinic.

 In May, HUD and the U.S. Department of U.S. Health and Human Services announced a joint-agency effort to increase COVID-19 prevention and treatment among communities hit the hardest by the virus. Those communities include many HUD-assisted households and the homeless.

With Caddo Parish being among the top four parishes in the state with a high number of people reluctant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Bradley spoke on efforts to educate and vaccinate.  

One of the goals at HUD, Bradley said, is to make vaccines accessible to HUD-assisted residents of homeless shelters, and believes that outreach is important in reaching those people.  

Dr. Martha Whyte, Region 7 director for the Louisiana Department of Public Health, echoed Bradley’s words.

Whyte said she understands a lot of people still have reservations about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, but encouraged them to learn more about the vaccine and get it to protect themselves, loved ones and others. “Each of us really has a duty to take this vaccine to protect not only ourselves but for others. There is always a chance we can get the change in the strain that makes us, who are vaccinated, not protected,” she said.

“If we think about COVID,” Perkins said, “which we are not 1,000 percent out of yet, we think about the devastation it did to our community we know that it is a devastating virus.”

“We started fighting this pandemic 16 months ago. It was about saving lives and it still is,” Dr. John Vanchiere with Ochsner LSU health said. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, only 29% of this region is vaccinated. Click here to see.

During the afternoon clinic, dozens of people were vaccinated, including children, whose parents stood in line to support them.

Mother of four, Chavondria Autry, who was there with her son, talked about her decision to get him vaccinated. She said with children going back to school soon, “I wanted him to be vaccinated so that he would be covered if anything goes on.

Autry said she received both doses of the vaccine and wanted her eldest son and daughter to take advantage of the opportunity. “At first he was like ‘No mama,’ but then after driving over here, he got a little confident about it.

Another walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic is scheduled for 3-6 p.m. Wednesday at the Cypress Landing Apartments at 4715 Hillary Huckaby III Ave. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive area of Shreveport.  

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