How will President Biden’s COVID-19 executive orders affect Central Louisiana?

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 8:26 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - On his first day in the White House, President Joe Biden signed 10 executive orders to combat his plans to fight COVID-19. The Biden administration’s proposal is expected to cost nearly $2 trillion, however, White House officials said that a large part of the plan would be impossible to do if Congress doesn’t pass to approve the proposal.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that Congress will work on the COVID-19 relief bill next week, and hopes to have it up for a vote by the first week in February.

President Biden is looking to use the Defense Production Act to speed up vaccine and PPE production. Part of the plan to increase vaccine availability is to create more vaccination locations at stadiums and community centers.

“This will be one of the greatest operational challenges our nation has ever undertaken. While the vaccine provides so much hope, the rollout has been a dismal failure thus far,” President Biden said before signing the executive orders.

The Biden administration’s plan is to give out 100 million vaccines in the first 100 days in the White House. Dr. David Holcombe with the Region 6 Office of Public Health says the state ranks 16th in the nation for distributing the vaccine.

The Louisiana Department of Health has reported that the state has administered over 301,000 vaccines so far, which is around 60% of the vaccines the state has received.

Dr. Holcombe hopes adding more vaccination sites would increase that state’s percentage.

“The ultimate goal is just to be able to vaccinate the maximum number of people and the large vaccination sites are pretty good for those sorts of numbers,” Dr. Holcombe said.

Last week, the state denied the Office of Public Health’s request for 3,000 vaccines of which 2,000 of them would have been allocated for the Rapides Parish Coliseum. The request was denied because the state wasn’t receiving the vaccines they were originally promised and couldn’t take any vials away from other locations in Louisiana.

President Biden’s proposal is aimed to open up locations like the Rapides Parish Coliseum to prevent pharmacies and hospitals from being overwhelmed with requests.

Dr. Holcombe said, “Some of these places have 1,000 to 1,500 on their waiting list. There’s still a huge demand for the vaccine. As it comes available, all the venues should be able to start working efficiently.”

Dr. Holcombe expects it to take around six to eight weeks before the country will start seeing massive doses that equal and exceed the demand for the vaccine.

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