NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans and the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families announced a new youth vaccination initiative in partnership with CrescentCare and NOLA-PS with financial support from United Way of Southeast Louisiana, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), and Entergy New Orleans.
Collectively, these philanthropic partners pooled their resources to provide a $90,000 investment that will enable CrescentCare to perform thousands of student vaccinations over the next few months. This initiative will build upon the success of recent mobile vaccination events hosted by NOLA-PS and CrescentCare, that have focused on high school athletic teams and extracurricular groups. Funding will enable partners to scale this model citywide and will be critical to protecting young people and our community from COVID-19.
“We are grateful to United Way, Greater New Orleans Foundation and Entergy New Orleans for teaming up to invest in this important initiative, and to CrescentCare and NOLA-PS for carrying out this work. This innovative partnership is an example of how we are meeting people where they are and working tirelessly to protect our youth and our community from COVID-19,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “As the Delta variant spreads throughout New Orleans, it is critical that our young people and their families get vaccinated
Currently, only 13 percent of youth ages 12-17 in Louisiana have been fully vaccinated, and an additional 10% have received the first dose. These rates are significantly lower than the national average of vaccinations for youth, ages 12 and up.
With hospital systems overstretched and responding to the recent surge in COVID cases due to the Delta variant, healthcare providers such as CrescentCare have stepped up and been able to fill in the gap.
“We’ve seen what low vaccination rates in our community have done and how they have fueled the rise of a variant in our state and locally. It’s more important than ever to focus on rapidly increasing vaccinations to help protect those who are most vulnerable. We’re grateful to United Way, New Orleans Public Schools, the Mayor and the City, for their unwavering support in protecting our city’s young people so we can help keep them as safe as possible,” said Dr. Nicholas Van Sickels, Chief Medical Officer CrescentCare. “Three weeks ago, 175 students and their family members got their first doses of the COVID vaccine at Frederick A. Douglass High School. As we prepare to administer their second doses and reach out to more schools, we commend them for being champions in the fight against COVID and ambassadors in their schools, families and neighborhoods about the importance of getting vaccinated.”
United Way of Southeast Louisiana recognized the urgency of this issue and mobilized quickly to funnel resources to this cause. United Way has encouraged other charitable organizations to follow their lead.
“United Way believes increasing access to quality, expert health care is essential to a thriving community, and we’re grateful the city is taking a collaborative approach to addressing both the alarmingly high positivity rate and lack of vaccinations among our community’s youth,” said Michael Williamson, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Southeast Louisiana. “We’re calling on the region’s philanthropic community to join us in this effort to ensure equitable access to reliable information and proven vaccines as our young people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than ever.”
“The Greater New Orleans Foundation is thrilled to once again partner with the City of New Orleans, NOLA Public Schools and Crescent Care, said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we made sure that crescent Care had the resources that they needed to get people tested. And now, it is fitting that we partner again to ensure that they have the resources to provide vaccinations to youth and families. Their critical work makes our city safer and helps our communities thrive.”
“Protecting some of the youngest members of our community is critical in helping to reduce the spread of COVID 19,” said Deanna Rodriguez, President and CEO of Entergy New Orleans. “We’re all in this together. That’s why Entergy New Orleans has committed $30,000 in support of NOLA Public Schools and the Mayor’s office initiative to provide high school students with parental consent the opportunity to receive vaccinations on campus. We will continue to work together with the City, our local non-profits and our employees to support the health and safety of the communities we serve.”
With school back in session, Mayor Cantrell and Superintendent Henderson Lewis have jointly emphasized the role that vaccines will continue to play in keeping our children safe and connected to in-person learning.
“Our medical advisors and the science around this pandemic agree vaccinations are the best defense against COVID-19 and the best protection for our students,” said Tiffany Delcour, Chief Operating Officer for NOLA-PS. “In-person learning is proven to be the best way to educate our students, and we are committed to taking every precaution to preserve it. We urge everyone who is eligible to get their shots. You’re not only protecting yourself, but also your loved ones.”
For more information about this initiative, contact the Mayor’s Office of Youth and Families at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 504-658-4926.