Louisiana Refuses To Follow CDC COVID Vaccine Expansion
It's no secret that the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has been slow. Unnecessarily slow. States have created bottlenecks for themselves across the nation, by ignoring the growing supply chain, or by restricting who is eligible for the vaccine.
The two pharmaceutical companies with approved COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are producing vaccine at their fastest rate ever, and create more and more daily. In fact, Pfizer CEO Alex Bourla said this week that their company has more vaccine on hand than the United States can handle right now.
Right now, about 9 million people have started or completed their vaccine treatment in the US. Though Bourla, the Pfizer CEO, said there should be 70 million Americans who have started their treatment, and that's just from Pfizer. Moderna is likely to have the same levels of stock, suggesting there could be well over 100 million Americans who have started their vaccines by now.
With this information out in the public now, the CDC has decided to change their guidance for vaccine rollouts in an effort to help speed up the program.
Prior to the move from the CDC, their guidance said that people over 70 years old, and frontline healthcare workers were eligible for the vaccine. But due to the slow rollout, the CDC has updated their guidance to now include those at least 65 years old, or those with comorbidities. This change would greatly expand who can get their vaccines.
However, the State of Louisiana will be rejecting the CDC guidance.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards suggested that Louisiana can't expand vaccine rollout the way the CDC says. WVUE TV reports the Governor said:
“We’re already focused on those most vulnerable in Louisiana, those who were 70 and older and we still have a lot of those individuals who have yet to be vaccinated but yet who want the vaccine"
Additionally their reporting says the Governor said to "not to expect an announcement any time soon" on the increased vaccination efforts.
So far, the state has used less than 50% of the vaccines it has in the stockpile. With Pfizer and Moderna continuing to produce millions of new vaccine doses, the state's stock will continue to increase, meaning that percentage will continue to drop. Meaning in long-term projection, the state may have only used 10% of their allocation.