LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A critical shortage in COVID-19 vaccine supplies is leading to the cancellation of vaccine appointments in the Ochsner Lafayette General system, according to a press release.
Those with appointments for their first dose of the vaccine will start to receive notifications from Ochsner via email, phone and text of the cancellations. Patients will be put on a waiting list until more supplies of the vaccine become available. Those who have already received their first dose will still receive their second dose as scheduled, according to Ochsner Director of Public Relations Katie Fauquier.
The full statement from the hospital system is below:
Ochsner Health has administered 86,093 COVID-19 vaccine doses, as of Thursday, January 21. While we are very proud of our efforts and our hundreds of team members across the state working to vaccinate our communities, we are also facing a critical vaccine shortage. Our current reality is that we have far more demand for vaccine than supply. We are receiving 70% fewer vaccine doses at Ochsner hospitals and clinics today than we did in the first four weeks of distribution and as a result have to delay first dose vaccinations.
This evening, we will begin communicating cancellations that will impact patients starting on Tuesday, January 26. We will be canceling all scheduled first dose vaccine appointments in South Louisiana (including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Bayou, Northshore and Ochsner Lafayette General regions). Impacted patients will be contacted directly through My Ochsner or via text to the phone number on file and automatically added to a waitlist to be rescheduled based on the order they originally scheduled their appointments. As we receive vaccine shipments, we will reschedule these patients as quickly as possible. Patients who have already received their first dose will receive their second dose as scheduled. This currently does not impact scheduled vaccinations at Ochsner Pharmacy and Wellness (designated retail locations) and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport.
We understand this is disappointing news for many of our community members, but these changes will ensure a fair and equitable rescheduling process. We remain committed to serving all eligible individuals in Phase 1B on a first-come, first-served basis as supply becomes available. We will continue to provide updates throughout this process and appreciate the patience and flexibility of our community throughout this fluid and constantly evolving situation. Rest assured, our team will continue working around the clock to end this pandemic.