Baton Rouge hospitals beg for more coronavirus vaccines as new variant reaches Louisiana

Updated: Feb. 2, 2021 at 5:46 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Providers like Baton Rouge General say they want more vaccines because they believe the state might be upon a 4th surge.

Many are waiting their turn, meanwhile vaccine providers are simply trying to just get more doses. “If your supply goes like this,” says Head of Baton Rouge Edgardo Tenreiro as he moves in finger up and down. “How do you manage that flow? How do you manage efficiency, you can’t.”

Tenreiro says they didn’t get any vaccines last week and this week they are only receiving half which makes them worried because the second variant has already entered the country, and with it the possibility of a fourth surge could be on its way.

“We have to change the strategy at the national level, I am sounding the alarm and I have been saying this for the last month, we are immunizing too few people,” adds Tenreiro.

For the state, some vaccine providers aren’t going fast enough and therefore they don’t want vaccines just sitting on the shelf, instead, they need to be in an arm.

“The other thing that we have done for two or three weeks in a row now is we have prevented them from getting the full allocation that they requested because it didn’t match up with the speed with which they were delivering those doses,” says Governor John Bel Edwards at his latest press conference.

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BRG says that staffing and vaccinating folks at a certain speed is not necessarily the issue for them like some other vaccine providers. LDH says it’s more of a combination between how fast providers are going and how much supply they get within the typical week.

LDH secretary Courtney Phillips spoke before a congressional subcommittee today, she says that more flexibility is needed with the unused vaccines being allocated to long term care facilities, and more accurate numbers from CDC on weekly allotments.

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“It’s very difficult to plan, you don’t know what the supply is going to be and obviously we could give a lot more than that if we had the supply. And not just us but I think all of the hospital systems at least in Baton Rouge,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, President and CEO of Baton Rouge General.

Providers like Baton Rouge General are hoping that with this increased allotment from the federal government, it will eventually help them to vaccinate more people.

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