The Louisiana Department of Health will expand the number of vaccine locations to an additional 102 providers and 13 more parishes, including one more in Pointe Coupee Parish.
Innis Community Health is the new addition in the parish as part of the state’s move to increase availability of the Moderna vaccine.
Innis Community Health Center hopes to begin the vaccination process by mid-week, said Cindy Peavy, executive director for the clinic.
She said she expects a slow rollout for the first week, in which the clinic will receive 100 vials.
Pharmacies statewide – particularly those in rural areas -- have told the Louisiana Department of Health that demand has far outpaced the supply.
Clinics can request additional supplies each week, Peavy said.
The Moderna vaccine includes 10 doses in a vial. All doses must be used within six hours.
“It means that if someone doesn’t show up, we have to go to the next person available to administer the vaccine,” she said.
The 209 providers include 87 chain pharmacies, 93 independent pharmacies, 20 federally qualified health centers and nine health-care sites.
The expansion of the provider list now puts vaccine providers in all nine public health regions and 64 parishes of the state.
Super 1 Foods Pharmacy in New Roads was included in the first round of pharmacies elected to administer the vaccination.
The first round is available for:
• Persons ages 70 years or older in the community.
• Outpatient clinic providers and clinic staff.
• Urgent care clinic providers and staff.
• Community care clinic providers and staff.
• Behavioral health providers and staff.
• Dialysis providers and patients.
• Home health service providers and recipients.
• Dental providers and staff.
• Students, residents, faculty and staff of allied health schools if not already receiving the vaccine or in a plan to receive it from their respective schools.
Plans are underway to expand the number of COVID vaccine providers and parishes for its availability, according to Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine reached pharmacies at 107 locations across 52 parishes on Jan. 4.
Each pharmacy received 100 vials of the vaccine, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
“The demand far exceeds the supply right now, and that’s not a bad problem to have,” Edwards said. “It’s better than the opposite.”
The vaccine is the route toward the end of the pandemic, said Dr. Joe Kanter, the state’s assistant health officer.
He urged residents to take it when it becomes available to them.
“It’s safe and effective,” Kanter said. “When doctors and medical professors are clamoring to get it, that says everything.”