BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The mayors of two Louisiana cities have announced a friendly competition aimed at bolstering efforts to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.
Adrian Perkins, the mayor of Shreveport in northwest Louisiana, and Nic Hunter, the mayor of Lake Charles in southwest Louisiana are vying to see which city can achieve the higher increase in first-dose vaccinations.
Their deadline is Oct. 31.
The state health department said Perkins issued the challenge and Hunter accepted in a video posted Monday. If Shreveport wins, Hunter will provide a “captain’s platter” of seafood from Steamboat Bill’s in Lake Charles.
If Lake Charles wins, Perkins must provide stuffed shrimp from Orlandeaux’s Café along with some Southern Maid Donuts.
Statewide, only about half of all Louisiana residents have had an initial shot of the COVID-19 vaccine; about 44% have received complete dosages, lagging national figures. The state announced nearly 3,200 new confirmed or probable cases Monday, and 55 more deaths. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to fall but remain high at 1,276, down from a peak of more than 3,000 in August.
The health department will will post vaccination progress in Shreveport and Lake Charles on social media each Monday.