When it comes to receiving the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, Louisiana ranks high in the nation.

According to the CDC, residents of Louisiana have been very mindful of getting their second dose of the vaccine within the recommended period with a 94.4% completion rate.

Only 0.9% of the residents of Louisiana who received their first dose of the vaccine missed the recommended window for the second dose. Compared to Virginia's 7.8% missing their second dose completely, Louisiana is doing pretty dang good!

If you are receiving any of the vaccines other than Johnson & Johnson's, you need to take both doses at the recommended interval. According to Wexner Medical, two doses are necessary because

The first dose primes the immune system while the second dose induces a vigorous immune response and production of antibodies. - Wexner Medical

Some people are hesitant to receive the vaccine because they feel that A) they are healthy enough to fight off the virus, and B) they want to allow higher-risk individuals to get vaccinated first. Others are hesitant to get the shot(s) because they believe that the vaccine was rolled out too quickly and isn't safe (the Mayo Clinic has already debunked this tale). Some are citing religious reasons (which is their right, but my religion teaches to love one another, and that includes protecting one another), and others are citing very wild conspiracy theories with no base in truth.

Your best bet when it comes to whether you should receive the COVID vaccine comes from the conversation you have with your health care professional. Talk it out with your doctor, and then decide what is best for you. I have decided to get vaccinated because that is what is best for both me and you.

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