WEST MONROE, La (KTVE/KARD) –According to the director for the immunization program here in Louisiana, planning for the COVID-19 vaccine dates back to April where planning started with a small group. Since then, they expanded to have a vaccination action collaborative to get the most realistic schedule release out to the public.
“We worked with people throughout the state in their areas of expertise and rally have done some essential planning to make sure that we’re fair and transparent in how the vaccine is pushed out,” said Stacy Hall, Director of Immunization Program for LA Office of Public Health.
Hall says until the vaccine is physically in the state, there’s still a lot more planning to be done. She says the plan is to have the vaccine available to everyone this summer, but until then, distribution is split into two groups.
“It’s people that are still going to work and putting themselves directly in harm’s way. They’re caring for people who have COVID or they’re working in that environment and then the second point is people that would get so severely ill,” said Hall.
So we know who’s going to get the first few doses, but how are they going to get them?
“So the vaccine would through our partners like for hospitals through the large hospital system. And then with a pharmaceutical wholesaler to make sure that we’re fair. And even hospitals that don’t belong to a system are allocated vaccine,” said Hall.
Hall says the initial vaccine is two doses, the first, is called the priming dose.
“So you really need to finish the second dose in the series to be protected,” said Hall.
When we asked Hall what the vaccine means for mask-wearing and social distancing, she says it will depend on what’s going on in the community for disease transmission and how long the vaccine will have antibody protection; all of which are unknown as of now.