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Too many vaccines, not enough people

Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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RAPIDES PARISH, La (KALB) - Local health experts are saying that vaccination numbers still aren’t where they should be even after Governor Edwards announced back on March 24 that everyone 16 and older could get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Last week, 2,500 people in Region 6 received their vaccine, 1,500 of them at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. However this week, those numbers dropped by a thousand.

Dr. David Holcombe, the Region 6 Medical Director, said, “The drop off is dramatic from 2,500 to 500. That’s a big difference.”

Thousands of unused vaccines had to be sent back to Baton Rouge after more people were choosing not to get the shot. This comes the same week that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was paused temporarily out of an abundance of caution.

“The problems with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only affected one out of a million people. I expect that will be lifted with maybe some revisions about who the people are that should receive the vaccine,” said Dr. Holcombe.

With one less vaccine provider, for now, getting more people vaccinated in Central Louisiana is an even bigger struggle.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, Region 6 ranks second to last in the state with less than 16% of the population vaccinated, a full 12% behind Region 1.

“Outlying areas will drop way down and so we have about 14% as a regional average. That is way underneath what it should be so we have a ways to go,” said Dr. Holcombe.

Vaccine providers will still be giving out doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine on a weekly basis.

Dr. Holcombe says everyone who still hasn’t received their shot should be signing up now.

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