Louisiana ahead of the game planning for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

State News

BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – The Governor said he got the letter from the CDC Wednesday night asking states to be prepared for a vaccine for COVID-19 on November first, but Louisiana has already been preparing.

The federal government sent letters to states asking them to prepare to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine by November first.

“For the last two and a half months, we’ve actually been pulling together meetings and having meetings about how we would distribute a vaccine,” said Dr. Alex Billioux, Asst. Secretary for the Office of Public Health at Louisiana Department of Health.

Billioux said Louisiana is ahead of the game. He added the CDC’s letter gives them more detail about a timeline, but there are still questions. They don’t know if the vaccine will need to be refrigerated or frozen and who could get it.

Billioux explained, “If we get a vaccine that only works for children, you’re going to have to skip the first responders and the high risk folks and get it to kids and vice versa.”

Governor John Bel Edwards said the letter is also asking the state to look at laws when it comes to a vaccine distribution.

“We’re starting today to inventory what all those requirements are. Which ones we think we have the ability to waive and whether there might be some others,” said Gov. Edwards.

According to the CDC, it’s normal practice for the government to get ready for distributing ahead of a vaccine approval.

Billioux said, “I do think there’s a concerted effort to get a vaccine in the winter. November first feels a little bit early, but probably good to be prepared.”

The Governor said he plans to have more conversations with the CDC to find out more guidance on how things should look once a vaccine is made available.

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