Governor touts successful but gradual vaccine rollout in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards said Friday that Louisiana is faring better than most states when it comes to the COVID vaccine rollout process. However, he says the supply will remain limited for the foreseeable future.
Edwards said the state can expect a rather flat allocation of doses for the next four to five weeks, resulting in another hurdle in the race to ramp up vaccinations.
"The limiting factor for us, as it is for other states, is simply the number of doses being allocated to us on a weekly basis," Edwards said.
Due to long waitlists, extending vaccines into other phases right now is tough. Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health says supply far outweighs demand.
"We're in the middle of Phase 1B, tier one. If you add up the eligible population there, it's about 900,000 people, and clearly we haven't had 900,000 doses being made available to us," Kanter said.
The lack of vaccine supply is also putting a pause on mass vaccination events.
"Unfortunately, that means that we can't do the large scale events that we've been prepping for so long. Once supply increases and once the Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines become available to us, we're looking forward to doing that," Kanter said.
But as the vaccine rollout continues, the governor warns Louisianans to be vigilant. He stresses that even though cases are improving, transmission is still incredibly high.
Edwards also said the Department of Health dashboard will now include more detailed vaccine data.