BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC)- The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) held a press conference today regarding the status of the H1N1 vaccine in Louisiana, and despite reports a possible shortage, the department has plans to move forward in it's vaccination campaign.
State Health Officer Jimmy Guidry addressed the media, and urged Louisiana families to have patience. Advising them to wait for the vaccine if their health provider has not received it yet, because more of it is arriving every week.
However, waiting may be hard for many with the total number of H1N1 related deaths on the rise. Just days ago it was 20, but as of Monday the DHH confirmed the total has risen to 24.
Over 79,000 doses of the vaccine had been shipped to Louisiana as of October 14, and additional shipments are expected every five to ten days for the next two to three months.
The DHH acknowledges the process has been slow, and say they wish the vaccine would get here sooner.
Dr. Jimmy Guidry stated, "We've always said it would take six to nine months to get a vaccine, they're on schedule... but for those people who are high risk its never quick enough."
The DHH attributes the slow process to several factors including the fact that shipments (of the H1N1 vaccine) come in batches, and providers have to sign up to receive the vaccine.
The DHH also said that every Louisiana resident who wants the vaccine, should have access to it by the end of January.