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Gov. Edwards to address La's COVID response as CDC issues new vaccine distribution information

1 month 2 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, December 02 2020 Dec 2, 2020 December 02, 2020 7:51 AM December 02, 2020 in News
Source: Associated Press

BATON ROUGE — As hospitals across Louisiana continue to see a steady increase in numbers of in-patient COVID sufferers,  a reason for optimism may be found in the United Kingdom's Wednesday morning announcement that it has officially approved the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

While the United Kingdom's citizens look to the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine as a means of relief, the US appears close to making a similar announcement in the near future.

But for now, federal leaders and health experts are teaming up to decide exactly how such a vaccine, when officially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will be doled out to the public.

Their most recent decisions in this regard will be announced Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. by representatives with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During this briefing, which will be held via telephone, CDC officials will provide the public with an update on the nation's COVID response as well as additional guidance on the order in which various members of the US population will receive the vaccine.

At the moment, the first recipients of the vaccine will include health care workers and nursing home residents. The Wednesday morning CDC-led briefing is expected to detail the remaining stages of vaccine administration.

Locally, officials with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) are working with stakeholders and key partners to coordinate the state's vaccine distribution planning efforts. Talks centered around the distribution process began in the spring of 2020 and key updates since then have been posted on this LDH webpage.

Governor John Bel Edwards will address the public with a COVID update Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m.

He'll do so alongside Admiral Brett Giroir, who serves as Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

The Governor will likely touch on LDH's recent COVID report, which stated that 1,280 people in Louisiana were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of more than 200 over the last week and more than double the 596 COVID-19 patients hospitalized a month ago.

Just before Thanksgiving, an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases, coupled with the strong likelihood of many citizens attending in-person gatherings during the upcoming holiday season motivated Governor Edwards to revert Louisiana to its Phase 2 restrictions.

“Louisiana is experiencing a third surge of COVID-19,” Gov. Edwards posted on Twitter two days before Thanksgiving. “With the continued rise in cases and hospitalizations, we have reason to worry and to make necessary changes in how we are battling this virus. Today, I am announcing that we will be going to a revised Phase 2.”

The Governor's Wednesday afternoon COVID update will be available to view here at 3 p.m., in addition to airing live on WBRZ and WBRZ Plus at that time.

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