High demand for COVID vaccine creates deficit in SWLA

High demand for COVID vaccine creates deficit in SWLA

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - If you are 70 and older, you are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

A handful of pharmacies in Southwest Louisiana were given an allotment, but it’s been difficult for some people to get it.

In Southwest Louisiana, certain Albertson’s, Walgreens and Brookshire Brothers pharmacies are listed by the State Health Department as having received vaccines.

Many are only offering appointments online, but all vaccine appointments in the Lake Area are currently booked.

Such high demand has overwhelmed local pharmacies.

Former Mcneese professor, Carrie Chrisco, has been trying to secure an appointment, but hasn’t had any luck, yet.

“It’s terribly frustrating,” Chrisco said. “They had them all filled up for this week. I asked if it started every week. They said they didn’t know, yet, but to start on Monday to look. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try to get in on those first 100 on the websites. It seems almost impossible if you’re not there right at the very first. It’s very hard to get on.”

The Department of Health released this statement in response to the high demand:

“We do anticipate vaccines will become increasingly available in the coming weeks and months, and as it does, we will continue to bring additional vaccination sites online.”

“I would like to see a better show, like if they could get it organized to go in and do massive vaccines,” Chrisco said. “I remember when I got the vaccine for polio, way back. Everybody had waited. They just gave them to us. I mean, they were covering thousands of people a day.”

Meanwhile, Chrisco says she and her husband are ready to get the COVID vaccine.

“It will set our minds at ease a little bit. I don’t think it’s going to change a lot of our behavior.”

An Albertson’s spokesperson said within 45 minutes of the list going up, all 100 available appointments were spoken for.

There’s no specific timeline yet on when more will be available.

Copyright 2021 KPLC. All rights reserved.