Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has extended the indoor mask mandate for another four weeks in the state. This covers venues such as schools and college campuses.

COVID is still posing a huge challenge for the state’s health authorities due to reasons ranging from shortage of medical personnel and resources to low vaccination rates. The reach and influence of the anti-vaccination lobby cannot be ignored. On September 16, when Dr. Joe Kanter was testifying before state legislators, several audience members booed and jeered him. There is also a proliferation of fake news and misinformation.

Governor Edwards, therefore, drew attention to how the resistance to vaccination was proving fatal, especially for mothers and babies. According to the Louisiana Department of Health, COVID-19 had led to severe pregnancy outcomes in at least 14 cases, all involving unvaccinated mothers. Six of the mothers and ten of the children died.

Meanwhile, as far as extreme reactions to the vaccines themselves are concerned, there are only ten confirmed cases of severe reactions among a total of 2.3 million people who have received their first doses so far.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, the death toll due to COVID stands at 13,850 as of September 28. A total of 1,031 new cases have been reported since September 27.

*Feature image courtesy Twitter Account of NOLA Ready.