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Bigger shipment of vaccines next week could speed up wait for some in Louisiana

1 month 3 hours 53 minutes ago Tuesday, January 26 2021 Jan 26, 2021 January 26, 2021 6:55 PM January 26, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The COVID-19 vaccine rollout is getting a much needed shot in the arm. The state of Louisiana learned Tuesday it'll get 15 percent more COVID vaccines than expected next week.

It could be an important turning point, as people across the state find themselves on long vaccine waitlists.

Phones are ringing off the hook at Bocage Pharmacy Centre with people calling to request the vaccine. The demand adds to the long waitlists already filled with hundreds of people.

"It's probably going to take two to three months to maybe satisfy those people. If we do more and get more, we can probably do it quicker," pharmacist Jarred Binney said.

Binney says there are at least 800 people on their waitlist. The demand is outpacing supply, as requests for the vaccine skyrocket.

"Please be patient. Pharmacies are doing the best they can to get everyone taken care of. Obviously demand is outweighing supply right now, and patients are getting frustrated," Binney said.

But, hope is on the horizon. The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will boost state vaccine allotments next week.

For Louisiana, that means nearly ten thousand more vaccines, a total of 67,350 initial doses next week.

"I know it's a huge demand right now for it, but I think letting all the pharmacies and retail community do it is helping a lot. I think we'll be able to get it on-hand pretty quick," Binney said.

The Louisiana Department of Health says it's planning on getting more vaccines over the next few weeks and asks for people who are on waitlists to be patient.

It's a hard ask, however, for many in the capital area as pharmacies work to meet the demand.

"We're doing the best we can. We're getting people done. It's going fairly well considering," Binney said.

The state says it can't open up additional tiers of people to vaccinations yet. Right now it's only available for people in the Phase 1B group, which includes those 70 years and older, those in urgent care, outpatient clinic staff and dental providers.

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