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Dr. John Vanchiere from Shreveport's LSU Health talks about the sudden COVID 19 vaccine shortage and when the medical school's drive-through clinic at the Fairgrounds may reopen.

"It was extremely sad to have to tell my team that yesterday," says Vanchiere, referring the the closing because of the vaccine's unavailability, "We sent mass emails out to all 10,000 folks who were registered and we're sending folks out there (to the Fairgrounds) to let people know in person...to meet folks out there who didn't get the notice."

And why the shortage of the vaccine? "We believed we had a secured access to more vaccine...and that didn't turn out o be the case," he says, "It's not a state or local issue. It's above that. I think it's at the federal level. The federal government is allocating to states and the state has a very small allotment compared to what we expected we would get. I think every state has less than they expected and of course, less than they want. It's very complicated, but it's not a state or local issue."

And when could the Fairgrounds clinic be operational once again? Vanchiere says, because of the demand for the vaccine across the country, he can't say for sure. "It's really just a matter of the state having to balance a lot of competing interests and they want to have distribution as broadly around the state as they can. With the limited number of doses that are available, they really are making a tough decision. I laud our leadership at the state level. They're in a tough predicament."

 

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