SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Over 159 thousand Louisianans have received a historic dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While this is an encouraging step in the right direction, and as hospitals and pharmacies statewide continue vaccinating as many people as possible with limited supplies, many are left unsure as to when they will be able to access the vaccine.
Louisiana Hospital Association, a Baton Rouge-based non-profit that represents and advocates for more than 150 hospitals and health systems, is offering tips for those currently waiting for the vaccine - with hopes of streamlining the process.
Here is what the organization is recommending:
- Do your research
- Check social media and websites of local hospitals, doctors’ offices, and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for updates on vaccine locations. Since last week, the state has more than doubled the number of locations providing vaccinations.
- Check your eligibility
- Louisiana is currently on ‘Phase 1B, Tier 1′ of vaccinations, but as more allocations of the vaccine are made available to the state, LDH will continue to expand who is eligible to be inoculated.
- Schedule an appointment online or by phone in advance
- Do not show up at a hospital or pharmacy without an appointment expecting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Do not get discouraged; initial vaccine supplies are limited
- Public health officials are working daily to distribute more vaccine statewide.
- Follow public health measures to keep your family and community safe
- The state is seeing a dramatic increase in case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths. In fact, on Wednesday, the state surpassed 8 thousand COVID-19 related deaths. As hospitals remain stretched thin, continue wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings, so medical professionals have resources to treat both COVID and non-COVID patients.
Paul Salles, president, and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association is reminding the public to be patient during this uncertain time.
“It’s a difficult time and all I can really reiterate is I know folks are working very hard to get as much vaccine distributed as possible,” Salles said. “There’s a great desire to increase the supplies that are coming to Louisiana...so we can get them to the healthcare providers and hospitals in order for them to vaccinate individuals in their community.”
LDH is expected to updates its vaccination statistics on Thursday, but the latest data shows over 21 thousand people have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.