New Orleans looks to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine distribution

New Orleans planning to ramp up COVID vaccine distribution

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The city of New Orleans says later this week it will announce plans to ramp up covid vaccine distribution. The latest figures show the state has only administered about one out of every three doses it has received.

A milestone at Tulane University where 5000 Pfizer doses are now going into the arms of School employees, and students.

“We think that there is a big need to step up vaccinations across the board and we think we can help,” said Patrick Delafontaine, M.D., the dean of the Tulane Medical School.

The latest figures from the CDC show… out of 368,300 vaccines delivered to Louisiana only 142,771 shots have gone into recipient’s arms.

At that pace herd immunity goals for mid-summer are being scaled back.

“At the rate we’re going, we are significantly behind and we do need to come up with strategies to accelerate it,” said DelaFontaine.

Places like San Diego and San Antonio deployed New vaccination strategies… where up to 10,000 people a day are now getting the vaccine in stadiums, and some say we need a similar effort in Louisiana.

“I think we’re off to a slow start but looking to pick up,” said health educator Eric Griggs, M.D.

“We’re having around 230 new cases every day and the positivity rate is 10.4% last time I was up here it was around 5% that’s a significant jump,” said city spokesman Beau Tidwell.

New Orleans Officials say they are now working on a new strategy.

“We are working with our federal and state partners on setting up additional vaccine sites and we’re in the process of determining what those specifics will look like, said Tidwell.

As the city ramps up efforts to get more vaccinations in the arms of those who need it, it says it is looking for volunteers to help get the job done.

“If you have a medical license you can volunteer to administer doses, if you don’t you can help out in logistical support,” said Tidwell.

As Tulane becomes one of the first campuses in the state to begin administering vaccines to staff and students, it knows there are big challenges ahead.

“Nationally there is a big need to really accelerate the amount of people getting the vaccine,” said Delafontaine.

The city says it could announce new expanded vaccination plans by Thursday.

If you are interested in assisting the city with vaccinations you can sign up with the Nola ready volunteer corps, you can go to their website, at ready.nola.gov/home.

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