Winter storm leads to rescheduled vaccine appointments & delays

VIDEO: Covid Vaccine Delays

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Across the state, the winter weather has unfortunately led to widespread delays of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, it hasn’t caused a major impact in Southwest Louisiana. A number of local hospitals had already rescheduled vaccine appointments last week in anticipation of this week’s ice storm.

Though, the weather has impacted some local outpatient providers like Walmart.

”We want to try and get the people that are scheduled their vaccine on tomorrow [Friday], but we want to do it in a way that’s safe and provides the correct environment for our patients,” CHRISTUS Ochsner SWLA Clinic Operations VP Lance Armentor.

Armentor says they only had to reschedule 26 vaccine appointments.

“One thing I can make sure everybody in this community understands is that we do have vaccines on-site,” Armentor said. “There has not been a patient that has missed their second dose because of the ice storm.”

However, the after-effects of the winter storm have led to some outpatient clinics, like Walmart’s pharmacy canceling some vaccine appointments.

According to a viewer, her vaccine at a local Neighborhood Walmart was sent back due to improper storage as a result of rolling blackouts.

“The biggest issue with those is the fact that there just wasn’t advance notification that they were going to happen,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Healthcare providers like CHRISTUS Ochsner and Lake Charles Memorial were able to administer shots Friday. As for the state’s response, Governor Edwards says with some shipments delayed, administering will have to kick into high gear next week.

“The bottom line is we are going to have to double up next week as best we can in terms of the number of doses that we administer in the state of Louisiana,” said Edwards.

Walmart issued the following statement on the recent weather conditions affecting vaccine appointments:

In the event of inclement weather, Walmart pharmacies will work with you to reschedule your vaccine appointment. The pharmacies will call patients to reschedule vaccine appointments if the store was closed.

Patients receiving their second vaccine dose or those scheduled to be vaccinated at Ochsner clinics and local hospitals are not affected.

According to a CDC tracker, over 71 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been delivered and 55 million doses have been administered.

President Joe Biden, who has a goal to administer 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, repeated on Tuesday that coronavirus vaccines will be widely available by the end of July.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also on Tuesday announced that the Biden administration would be increasing the weekly supply of coronavirus vaccines sent to states.

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