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To help reach herd immunity, outreach workers knock on the door to encourage vaccination | Coronavirus

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On a sunny, ferocious Monday in New Orleans, Tonya Freeman Brown wore a neon yellow vest and began knocking on the doors of the Hoffman Triangle district of Central City to discuss the availability of the coronavirus vaccine with residents. ..

One of the leaflets she had went to Will Frederick, the cook at The Empty Nest Cafe & Bar in Metallie. He was requalified after Louisiana expanded its guidelines to include key workers on Monday.

“I had that in mind,” said Frederick, who got the vaccine. “Now I got information on how to do that.”



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Tonya Freeman Brown, a volunteer at NOLA Ready Resilience Force, left a resident information on vaccination methods during a door-to-door visit to the Hoffman Triangle in New Orleans on Monday, March 22, 2021. (Staff photo: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times Pikayun | New Orleans supporters)




The door-to-door canvassing by Brown et al. Is part of the city’s efforts to convince all eligible New Orleans to be vaccinated. Health Director Dr. Jennifer Avegno said the goal is to avoid easy-to-imagine scenarios. In this scenario, everyone will be well vaccinated in the near future, but not everyone is enrolled in the vaccine.

“The supply will be open and anyone who wants it will get it,” Avegno said. “But then you get to this wall. And maybe it’s 50%. And that’s not enough to get back to normal.”

Children under the age of 12, including 6-month-old babies, can participate in a two-dose clinical trial of Moderna in Louisiana …

Louisiana has some of the most open qualification guidelines in the country. On March 9, Governor John Bel Edwards released the vaccine to anyone with any of nearly 20 conditions, including an obesity index of over 25, qualifying the majority of people in the state. Gave it. At that time, only the other two states had such open availability based on their medical condition. And on Monday, the qualifications expanded again. Now all important workers can also be shot.



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Tonya Freeman Brown, a volunteer at NOLA Ready’s partner Resilience Force, left residents’ information on vaccination methods during a door-to-door visit to the Hoffman Triangle in New Orleans on Monday, March 22, 2021. (Staff photo: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times Pikayun | New Orleans supporters)




However, despite a wide range of qualifications, Louisiana is nationwide half-baked when it comes to vaccination, with about 14% of its population vaccinated.

Some parts of the state are doing much better than others. Region 1, including New Orleans, is by far the most fully vaccinated in 15.77% of the population. Region 5, where parts of southwestern Louisiana are still recovering from hurricane rollers, is at the bottom, with 8.81% vaccinated.

The national average of completed vaccinations is 14%.

Public health experts see the recent continuous expansion as a warning of what is to come.

Susan Hasig, an epidemiologist at the University of Tulane, said:

In early February 2020, doctors and scientists submitted to the LSU School of Medicine Auditorium in New Orleans. Sit side by side …

Like Avegno, Hassig can imagine a scenario in which about half of the population receives the vaccine and then the enthusiasm for the vaccine diminishes. That’s what happened at the hospital. According to hospital representatives, the Oxner Health System, which employs approximately 32,000 people in Louisiana, receives 56.3% of vaccines.

That number hasn’t changed much since the beginning of January by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Hart. About half of the employees said they chose to take it..

“For some time I was worried that it wouldn’t exceed 50%,” Hassig said. “Public health has this phenomenon. There are early adopters and some people are really hard to reach.”

In Central City on Monday, residents were able to make reservations on the spot at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on the spot. Mass vaccination sites are available.



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Pamela Bourgeois, a volunteer at NOLA Ready’s Resilience Force, will talk door-to-door with residents of the Hoffman Triangle on Monday, March 22, 2021 in New Orleans. (Staff photo: David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times Pikayun | New Orleans supporters)




Brown and other vaccine outreach workers are part of a non-profit organization called Resilience Force with which the city is affiliated. Over the past few weeks, they have visited more than 12 New Orleans neighborhoods to share information about vaccines and their availability with residents.

Regions are selected based on a number of factors, including indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that take into account factors such as the Social Vulnerability Index, poverty and transportation.

The city is also looking at the zip code that was hit hardest by the death from COVID-19. Nearby attractions include Central City, 9th and 7th Wards, Treme, Lafitte, Gert Town, Holly Grove, St. Claude and Gentile.



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NOLA Ready partner Resilience Force outreach worker Tonya Freeman Brown (left) will give resident information on vaccination methods during a door-to-door visit to the Hoffman Triangle in New Orleans on Monday, March 22, 2021. (Staff photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | Times Pikayun | New Orleans supporters)




According to Hassig, it takes an average of 13 public health campaigns to get people to act. A worker knocking on the Hoffman Triangle door may need to return again for another conversation. Those who are still hesitant may need to hear from a pastor, doctor, or neighbor.

“It will probably be an effort that needs to be sustained,” Hasig said. “This is not a one-time exchange.”

She estimates that about 65% to 70% of the people Brown encounters on a door-to-door visit say they have already obtained it or are waiting for the final dose. However, some say they never sign up.

Behind a room about the size of two football fields, Mary Francis was sitting in a wheelchair. Her daughter was by her side. First, Gi …

“I’m scared. I don’t trust it,” said one resident who didn’t want to give her name on Monday. She isn’t sold as a vaccine, but she’s also afraid of viruses. Her cousin died from it last year. They rested him at the DW Rhodes Funeral Home, a block away.

“For me, it comes out on one foot and on one foot,” she said. “I will continue to ask God to cover us and watch over us.”

Brown left the leaflet with her and moved to:

“It’s just trying to reassure people, empower them with information, and allow them to make their own choices,” said massage therapist Brown, who pivoted to an outreach job during a pandemic. Told. “I don’t argue. If you feel that a discussion is happening, just listen.”

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Emily Woodruff covers the public health of Times Picayune | New Orleans advocates as a report for members of the US Corps.

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