We Got Left Out

Pharmacies across the state have received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for members of the public.  But Red River parish has been left out of the first deliveries.  There are 107 pharmacies in Louisiana that got the vaccine.  The closest to Red River are the pharmacies at Super 1 Foods on Keyser Ave. in Natchitoches and the Walgreens in Many.

Coushatta’s Mabile’s Pharmacy has applied to get the vaccine but they have not received any so far.  Pharmacist Ray Mabile told The Journal they will be getting some but it could be a month or more away.  Mabile said, ”I am not sure why we were left out.  Our paperwork was filed.  I have talked to the National Guard and others but so far I don’t know when we will be getting the vaccine.”

Mabile explained that his employees who will be administering the vaccine have to be vaccinated first, and that it would be about 30 days after they are vaccinated that they would be able to administer it to others. 

Governor John Bel Edwards said, “The vaccines are a source of great hope, but right now, Louisianans need to mask up, social distance, and do their part to preserve hospital capacity and help save lives.”

This week, the Louisiana Department of Health reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since April 16th.  Here is the information provided by LDH concerning the vaccine distribution and who is eligible to receive it.

Louisiana will begin receiving the first very limited doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine that will be available at 107 pharmacies across the state.

The vaccines will be available only for those in Phase 1B, Tier One: 

  • People who are 70 years of age and above;
  • Home health services patients and staff; 
  • Ambulatory/outpatient health care personnel;
  • Residents, students and staff of schools of allied health; and 
  • People being treated for end stage renal disease (patients on dialysis). 

LDH has published the list of participating pharmacies, along with their locations and contact information, on its website: covidvaccine.la.gov.

Eligible residents must contact a participating pharmacy and make an appointment at the pharmacy. Patients who arrive without an appointment will not be vaccinated. 

These 107 pharmacies — 45 chain pharmacies and 62 independent pharmacies — represent 51 parishes and all nine public health regions of the state. 

The Louisiana Department of Health is coordinating the COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort in Louisiana. As more vaccines become available from the CDC, more individuals and groups will be offered a vaccination.  The goal is to provide everyone with the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID.

On Tuesday, LDH said:

 the Department of Health has given guidance to hospitals that any remaining current or future vaccine allotments that exceed hospital uptake can be used for any currently eligible groups.

“We are so encouraged by our residents’ clear demand for the COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, Secretary of LDH. “While demand is clearly outpacing supply, this is just the start. We do anticipate vaccine will become increasingly available in the coming weeks and months, and as it does we will continue to bring additional sites online. For now, 10,700 newly eligible residents will have the opportunity to get vaccinated this week, and that’s progress. Thank you for your patience

“In the meantime, we will continue to work with our hospital partners to make the COVID vaccine increasingly available for their eligible patients and community members,” Dr. Phillips added.