NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Over one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Louisiana as of Sat., Feb. 27, according to the state’s health department.
In the last month, vaccine distribution nearly doubled to an average of just under 48,000 doses a day as of March 1. Up from an average of around 21,000 doses at the beginning of February. More than 650,000 people have at least one dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines with about 350,000 fully vaccinated.
Louisiana Department of Health State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter is excited about the achievement.
“That’s a phenomenal milestone,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the weekend.
“There’s going to be much more vaccine available,” Kanter says.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Louisiana can expect just under 40,000 doses of the one-shot vaccine this week.
Coupled with 45,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and more than 50,000 doses of Pfizer that will make more than 100,000 total available doses. The most available in one week since vaccinations began.
“It will be divided up amongst the nine regions of the state roughly based on population. So for the greater New Orleans region, that comes to around 7,000 doses,” Kanter says.
Although some have hesitation when comparing the effectiveness of the different versions of the vaccine, Kanter said the comparisons are not valid.
“The studies are not apples to apples,” he said.
Kanter says many of the variants circulating during the Johnson & Johnson trial had not developed yet during the Moderna and Pfizer studies.
“A few weeks out from getting vaccinated, not a single person from the Johnson and Johnson trial got hospitalized or died from COVID and by that measure, this is a grand slam,” said Kanter.
He said the federal government cautioned the state’s allocation may go down for the next two weeks but should ramp up after that, hopefully boosting supply to provide more eligibility and larger vaccination events.
The four million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine already produced began shipping immediately. Louisiana expects to distribute the allotment by the end of the week.
Copyright 2021 WVUE. All rights reserved.