Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is shifting the vaccinations done at its main campus to Pennington Biomedical Research Center in a community vaccination site the hospital hopes to scale up to several thousand doses a week when supply becomes available.
The vaccination site at Pennington, a few blocks from the Lake in south Baton Rouge, won’t take doses from the hospital system’s North Baton Rouge facility or other sites, spokesman Ryan Cross said.
Instead, the hospital will stop vaccinations at its main campus on Essen Lane starting Tuesday and shift those shots to Pennington. From Tuesday through Saturday, the hospital expects to administer 1,300 doses, and hopes to give 1,500 shots per week if supply continues at the same level, which is not certain.
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Patients won’t be able to show up to the site without an appointment, Cross said. People should register through Our Lady of the Lake’s normal scheduling system, like they would for a shot at any existing site.
Gov. John Bel Edwards is set to receive his first shot of vaccine at the Pennington site Tuesday afternoon. Edwards made himself, some government COVID response officials and people between the ages of 65 and 69 eligible for vaccinations as of Monday.
Cross said the Pennington site will administer about 200 doses per weekday and 500 on Saturdays.
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The hospital is using the new site at Pennington as a pilot for when production ramps up and far more doses become available.
As of Tuesday, Louisiana had injected nearly 450,000 people with at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. That’s more than the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, though the number of actual infections is likely much higher as not everyone who contracts the disease shows symptoms or gets tested.
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Currently, people over the age of 65, a list of health providers, some government officials responding to the pandemic, certain election workers and first responders are eligible for vaccinations. Residents and staff of nursing homes and other long term care facilities are getting vaccinated through a federal program.