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Why La. is not implementing mass COVID-19 vaccinations just yet

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Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - States like Texas and California are choosing to vaccinate thousands of people in specific cities.

That strategy works in California where Los Angeles is sort of the epicenter of the COVID-19 problem in that state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says, in Louisiana, it makes more sense to first spread the doses out across the state. That way people in New Orleans and Baton Rouge don’t use up all the shots and leave rural parishes, where the virus has spread fastest, unprotected.

But eventually, there will be enough does of the vaccine to spread things out and for Louisiana to host mass vaccination events at large venues, which is why the state is doing a sort of test run right now.

They’ve given nine pharmacies about 1,000 doses each to try this out.

“That way, more people have access to it. It’s a much more equitable way to distribute and at the end of the day, you vaccinated as many people as you could’ve done at mass events - but those mass events are going to draw people from the areas where they’re having them,” Gov. Edwards said during a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 12.

It’s not clear when the state will begin to open these mass vaccination sites up, but it will use a model it tried out with the flu shot in the fall. They hosted drive-up clinics in Fall 2020 to promote social distancing. So you may not see vaccinations inside Tiger Stadium, for example, but more likely in the parking lot.

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