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Are pharmacies ready to take on the newly-eligible vaccination crowd?

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GONZALES - Phones are ringing off the hook at Lagniappe Pharmacy in Gonzales. Lines are busy with new callers seeking appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.

"The demand won't meet the supply. The supply that's going to be available definitely won't be able to encompass everyone in the beginning," said Dr. Eric Peters with Lagniappe Pharmacy.

This frenzy comes on the heels of the Governor's announcement to qualify more people for the shot. The demand continues to outpace supply as requests for the vaccine skyrocket.

"The capacity of Louisiana to administer vaccine far exceeds supply. We are in very good position, for when supply does pick up to be able to move vaccine to individuals quickly and equitably," said Dr. Joseph Kamper with the Louisiana Department of Health.

Vaccinations are by appointment only, but they may not be easy to snag.

"It's going to take time. It's going to be a process. People have to be patient and understand that everybody won't be able to get it on the first day they lower the age. Even though you may fall within the eligibility criteria, you still won't be able to get it because of supply and demand, and the manpower that we actually have to give out the vaccine," said Dr. Peters.

Pharmacists say to remember that patience is key amid the vaccine roll out.

Dr. Peters says he hopes expanding access to the vaccine will help prevent another surge in cases as the state moves into phase 3 of reopening.

The state doesn't plan to see an increase in vaccine shipments this week. About 102,330 new doses of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines are expected.

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