SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The fight against COVID-19 is a community-wide effort, fought on many fronts; two major health systems in the Shreveport-Bossier area teaming up to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
Now, Willis-Knighton Health System has joined LSU Health Shreveport to support the existing COVID-19 vaccinations at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.
Willis-Knighton will deliver the next shipment of 1,950 doses of the vaccine to LSU Health Shreveport and will provide staff for vaccination efforst on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and Thursday, Jan. 28, according to a news release.
LSU Health Shreveport has the efficient drive-thru vaccination program, while CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System has, all told, nearly 3,000 doses that it’s sharing with LSU Health, at least until their last shipment can be delivered.
At the drive-thru lines for the Pfizer vaccine, LSU Health Shreveport and Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System were expecting to give out about a thousand doses on this Monday.
But when the weather quickly turned bad shortly before noon, only half that number came out, including Kay McKinney of Bossier City, who says she just wants protection from the COVID virus.
“It’s scary; scary. I just want them to get a grip on it. This is not the first pandemic or thing like this has come down the pike in my years of life. But, it just brings it home how deadly this can get in a hurry.”
Most of Those getting their shot on this Monday or Tuesday had their original appointment canceled when LSU Health’s original supply ran out two weeks ago, for people at least 70 years of age.
These new vaccines actually come from Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System, which has recently received new shipments in.
Christus Chief Executive Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steen Trawick described LSU Health’s drive-thru system as efficient.
“The only way we’re going to win this battle is to get these vaccines into people’s arms. And LSU has a system and a process that has been very efficient. We’re glad to be a part of this. This is the community’s vaccine. It was just allocated to us.”
While interviewing with LSU Health Shreveport Chancellor Dr. G.E. Ghali, Dr. Trawick offered some advice for anyone still worried about getting a vaccination.
“You’ve heard some people are nervous and scared to receive the vaccine. We both have had our vaccines and have done well. I think it’s important to, you know, do some research, ask a physician, don’t be afraid of it. And if you have questions reach out to your primary care doctor and ask about it because that’s the only way we’re going to fight this disease effectively.”