Aly Neel, a spokesperson for Louisiana’s health department, said the state has seen “a little bump” in vaccinations recently, adding that details would be available Friday.
Warner Thomas, president and CEO of the Ochsner Health system serving Louisiana and Mississippi, said the system had seen a 10% to 15% increase in people seeking vaccination over the past week or two. It has administered vaccines at churches, the New Orleans airport, basketball games and the mall.
“We see each person we get vaccinated now as a victory,” said Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, director of infection prevention and control for the 40-hospital system, noting that it has been bringing in traveling nurses and that projections show its ICUs could fill up at the current rate of infection.
Dr. Catherine O’Neal, chief medical officer and an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake regional medical center, said Thursday that the most shocking aspect of the surge has been its speed. The caseload has roughly tripled in the course of a week, she said.
On Sunday, the medical center stopped taking transfers of coronavirus patients from hospitals in other parts of the state because they simply did not have the capacity, she said.
In Missouri, which is second only to Arkansas and Louisiana in the number of new cases per capita over the past 14 days, officials have rolled out a vaccine incentive program that includes $10,000 prizes for 900 lottery winners. The state lags about 10 percentage points behind the national average for people who have received at least one shot.