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School back in session, only around 5 percent of children vaccinated in Cenla

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:15 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:43 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish students went back to school on Tuesday, August 10. The scary reality is that the COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading quickly among children.

Region Six Office of Public Health Director Dr. David Holcombe tells KALB only around 5 percent of children are vaccinated against the virus in Cenla.

Statewide, only 13 percent of children between 12 and 18 are vaccinated. Across the state, 6,000 kids have already been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Over at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, half of the children hospitalized with COVID-19 are under the age of two. Some have been as young as seven weeks old. Currently, there is a three-month-old on a ventilator.

To keep schools from getting shut down, Holcombe says it will be up to parents to get their eligible children vaccinated, and teachers to make sure all safety measures are being followed inside the classroom.

“Statewide, 20 percent of the people going to the hospital are less than 17, and there have been kids as young as several months old who are on ventilators. This is really disturbing to people, because it’s terrible. It’s terrible for the families, terrible for the child and if more people were vaccinated, we would not be going through this. So it is really imperative, there is no excuse for a teacher in school at this time to not be vaccinated. They also have to take this seriously and make sure that the students are wearing their masks and they’re social distancing, because this is going to keep your classrooms open.”

Dr. Holcombe

Once these vaccines receive full FDA approval, many companies will begin to require vaccinations. Also keep in mind, you aren’t fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second shot. COVID-19 vaccines are still widely available, including drive-thrus at all local health units.

KALB also reached out to our local hospitals to get an update on current COVID-19 patients. As of Wednesday, August 11, a total of 60 patients are being hospitalized at Rapides Regional Medical Center. Of those, 52 are unvaccinated and eight are vaccinated.

A 28-member Disaster Medical Assistance Team is now stationed at Rapides Regional to work alongside employees in the COVID unit.

Cabrini tells KALB they are also receiving help from the federal government for their COVID-19 patients.

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