Health officials say tracking COVID-19 vaccine doses could be logistical challenge

Critical Weeks Ahead With Vaccines On The Way

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Health officials say the coming weeks will be critical in the ongoing pandemic. As cases surge nationwide, the first shipments of vaccines will make their way to those most at risk, front line health care workers and nursing home residents. 80,000 people in Louisiana could be vaccinated this month and next.

But, Dr. Joseph Kanter with the Louisiana Department of Health says it will be a logistical challenge to track Covid-19 vaccine administration; especially when you consider both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots to be fully effective.

Those doses are spaced out either 21 or 28 days apart depending on which brand you receive. Kanter says there will be both a state and federal online immunization database tracking those doses.

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“We have a couple of assets working in our favor. The online immunization tracking program we use in Louisiana, it’s actually a homegrown program called LINKS, it is, believe it or not, one of the best in the country and we’ve actually helped other states build programs like this one, so we are proud of it. It’s a state-of-the-art program. It does a great job of tracking doses, dose by dose, so any provider and the health department will get alerts when it is time to bring somebody in for a second dose,” said Kanter.

Health officials say if you, for instance, get the Pfizer vaccine for your first dose, your second dose will also have to be Pfizer. The same goes for the two shot series of Moderna vaccine.

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