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Louisiana will not expand COVID vaccinations to people 65 and older yet

State health leaders say they continue to struggle with getting enough vaccines for those who...
State health leaders say they continue to struggle with getting enough vaccines for those who need it. The state says it needs more vaccine providers in Alabama.(WBRC)
Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:38 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The latest push to get more COVID-19 vaccines into arms comes from the CDC, expanding the age limits in order to speed up the nation’s slow rollout.

Operation Warp Speed and the CDC are recommending states give the vaccine to anyone 65 years old and older. Right now, Louisiana is administering to those 70 and older, an increase Governor John Bel Edwards says we can’t make at the moment.

“We’re already focused on those most vulnerable in Louisiana, those who were 70 and older and we still have a lot of those individuals who have yet to be vaccinated but yet who want the vaccine,” Governor Edwards said.

Edwards says they will look at the possibility, but not to expect an announcement any time soon.

Right now, the state is focused on those 70 and older, health care workers and front line essential workers.

Over 368,000 doses have been distributed to the Bayou State and nearly 160,000 have been administered, just over 43-percent.

This past week the state was able to get out over 35,000 doses to 210 providers, double the providers from the week before.”We were able to do a larger disbursement this week, because we have been planning to move out some of the remaining stock at our supplier, that’s not going to be available to us next week,” Dr. Joseph Kanter with the state health department said.

That means not all 210 sites will have it again next week, but Edwards ensures second doses will be available at all sites when they are needed.

Other states have been preparing mass vaccination sites.

Kanter says the leg work is being done here as well.

”The limiting factor is just how much vaccine we have available to do that, but the work is being done out to prepare,” Kanter said.

Kanter says moving forward, the state needs a better idea from the federal government about when and how many doses will be in each shipment. He says right now they are being extra careful to make sure second doses are available.

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