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Ochsner says vaccine appointments postponed due to ‘limited supply’

Updated: Jan. 17, 2021 at 11:32 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Ochsner Health is postponing vaccine appointments for those who are Tier One eligible after they say they were not given their allotment of vaccines this week.

Here is the full statement:

“Since December 14, Ochsner Health has administered more than 67,000 vaccine doses to Ochsner employees, community physicians, other healthcare providers and people ages 70 and older across the state as we work to end this pandemic.

Like all hospitals and pharmacies across the country, we are continuing to experience unprecedented demand and a high volume of vaccine appointment requests. COVID-19 vaccine supply is a national concern and Ochsner Health’s vaccine shipments remain variable week to week. Unfortunately, Ochsner Health was not given its allotment of vaccines this week.

Due to the limited vaccine supply, we will no longer be able to schedule new appointments for the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines and some currently scheduled appointments will be impacted. Patients with first dose appointments scheduled for Thursday, January 21 – Monday, January 25 will receive a notification from Ochsner if their appointment is postponed and will have priority access to reschedule once we receive additional vaccines. Patients who have already received their first dose will receive their second dose as scheduled.

We understand that our community members are eager and excited to receive the vaccine and acknowledge this news is disappointing. Rest assured, Ochsner is working quickly and diligently to be able to administer as many vaccines as possible once we receive additional inventory.

For the latest information on vaccines, we encourage community members to visit Ochsner vaccine.

The Louisiana Department of Health announced Friday, January 15, that they expects to receive 58,150 doses in the coming days.

Health educator Dr. Eric Griggs says says this kind of hiccup in distribution was bound to happen, and just to be talking about vaccines at this stage in the game is still an incredible achievement.

“Give it time just like we did in the very beginning with the testing, remember?” said Griggs.

“The supply chain and trying to figure all of that stuff out. We finally got it, and given enough time, we’ll ramp it up and everyone will get vaccinated.”

“You’re going to have these ebbs and flows. You’ll have overscheduling and a surplus until we get it right.”

State officials say they will continue to provide vaccines to 210 providers and those getting the shots are still in Tier One, which means:

  • Persons ages 70 years or older
  • Outpatient clinic providers and clinic staff
  • Urgent care clinic providers and staff
  • Community care clinic providers and staff
  • Behavioral health clinic providers and staff
  • Dialysis providers, staff and clients
  • Home health service providers, direct support workers and recipients
  • Dental providers and staff
  • Students, residents, faculty and staff of allied health schools.

“I don’t know that it’s a consistent number every week, and without a consistent number it’s hard to predict and it’s hard to schedule without a plan,” said Griggs.

“The operative word is “yet”. You will be called and you will be scheduled and you will get your vaccine. That’s a good thing. So we need focus on the positive while everything is being put together.”

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