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Some in Louisiana Could Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Before Year's End

Governor John Bel Edwards

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana is going back to a modified version of Phase 2, Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday, Nov. 24, but the governor also says there’s light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a vaccine for COVID-19.

Gov. Edwards believes some people could get the first doses of a vaccine by as early as mid-December, however, he does not believe the state is moving quickly enough in the right direction to solve the more immediate issues, like hospital capacity. He does predict though that doses of two vaccines should be available to Louisiana in a matter of weeks.

“I believe that in a number of months we’re going to finally start to put this pandemic behind us,” said Governor Edwards.

Dr. Catherine O’Neal

That was pretty much the only good news Tuesday, November 24, after the governor rolled back some of the state’s reopening. He says a vaccine distribution is very near.

“And we could start this next month in small numbers, in small numbers. And it’s going to take a while to get to the general population,” said the Governor.

The state has a rough draft in place for vaccine distribution. Edwards expects Louisiana to receive between 30,000 to 60,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the middle of December. Then a week later, the first doses of the Moderna vaccine could perhaps go out. This is all a part of “Operation Warp Speed.”

“Once that emergency urge authorization is granted by the FDA, I think he (Secretary Alex Azar) said within 24 hours, a vaccine would be en route to the states, to the locations that we’ve identified we want them shipped to,” said Edwards.

In Louisiana, the first priority for a vaccine will be health care workers, then to high-risk groups, like seniors who live in nursing homes, assisted living centers and people who live in community congregate settings.

But as for you and your family:

“The general public, my family shouldn’t see this vaccine for several months. We still have to make sure that we’re doing all the right things through Thanksgiving and Christmas and really taking care of each other. And making sure we stay safe because I don’t think we will see the true benefit of this vaccine for months and months to come,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, with Our Lady of the Lake.

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