BATON ROUGE, La. - Officials with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) say 298 vaccine providers across the state will receive “very limited doses” of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The following information is from LDH:
These providers – including 150 chain pharmacies, 112 independent pharmacies, 19 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), 3 rural health clinics (RHCs), and an additional 14 healthcare sites – represent all nine public health regions and 64 parishes of the state.
While the state was able to resupply the majority of providers that received COVID vaccine doses last week, future distribution is dependent on vaccine made available to the state, among other factors. To stress, there is no guarantee that providers receiving vaccine this week will receive vaccine in the future.
These vaccines will be available only for those in Phase 1B, Tier 1:
- Persons ages 70 years or older
- Outpatient clinic providers and clinic staff
- Urgent care clinic providers and staff
- Community care clinic providers and staff
- Behavioral health clinic providers and staff
- Dialysis providers and clients
- Home health service providers, direct support workers and recipients
- Dental providers and staff
- Students, residents, faculty and staff of allied health schools
Participating providers must make available vaccine available to anyone who is eligible. Failure to do so will inform future decisions about distribution. LDH has published the list of participating providers, along with their locations and contact information, on its website: covidvaccine.la.gov.
Eligible residents must contact a participating provider and make an appointment with them. Patients who arrive without an appointment will not be vaccinated. Do not arrive at a location without an appointment. LDH cannot make appointments for patients; only providers can.
The Louisiana Department of Health is coordinating the COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort in Louisiana. As more vaccines become available from the CDC, more individuals and groups will be offered a vaccination.
The state nearly-doubled the number of pharmacies receiving vaccines this week after it elected to move 13,500 doses from storage to distribution. The doses sat on ice while thousands of Louisianans flooded pharmacy phones, each seeking an appointment to get a shot.
“It was tough to predict how quickly it was going to be used,” the state’s top doctor, Joseph Kanter, said. “A lot of providers, rightfully so, wanted to take smaller allotments at first when they were still learning how to handle the vaccine.”
Some facilities do not have enough freezer space to hold vaccines that are not immediately administered, and smaller providers expressed concern they would have to throw surplus vaccine out.
But it soon became obvious high demand would prevent waste, and hospitals began giving shots to select patients once staff were inoculated.
“They’d asked the department of health to hold onto some of their supply to make sure they had enough storage room and they felt prepared to take it,” Kanter said, announcing the state would no longer hold vaccine on ice. “Now, there will be no supply on hold.”
The influx of doses allowed for the expanded pharmacy list. The department of health will now send their providers their entire allotment, instead of retaining some for future use.
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