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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Louisiana offering digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Louisiana is offering residents the ability to show digital proof of their coronavirus vaccinations on their cellphones.

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday announced the new feature is available on the LA Wallet mobile app, the state’s voluntary digital license application.

“This enhancement is about connecting people with their own personal health information in a simple, secure way,” Edwards said in a statement. “The LA Wallet app is free, safe and private, and people who use it are assured that their personal health information is well protected.”

The effort to make it easier for people to prove their coronavirus vaccine status comes as state lawmakers consider measures that would prohibit requiring proof of immunization against COVID-19 to enter state-owned or state-financed buildings and facilities.

Louisiana has had trouble persuading people to get the shots and lags most states in vaccination rates, not drawing down its full federal allocation of vaccine doses for the last three weeks. Dr. Joe Kanter, the governor’s top public health adviser, said Louisiana has ordered nearly 82% of the vaccine doses made available to the state by the federal government.

“The fact of the matter is we have more hesitancy than we would want,” Edwards said.

The Democratic governor said he’s not worried about President Joe Biden’s plan to reallocate unused doses to other states.

“That vaccine isn’t doing any good on a shelf in a refrigerator or freezer,” Edwards said. “I have no doubt that the vaccines that we have on hand are more than sufficient to meet our need.”

About 27% of state residents are fully vaccinated while 32% have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the state health department.

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