Louisiana’s wasted vaccine numbers don’t tell the whole story, experts said

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BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – New numbers show just where Louisiana stands when it comes to wasted COVID-19 vaccines.

The Louisiana Department of Health says 1,509 vaccines were wasted from March 29th to April 23rd.
That’s an average of 58 doses a day.

The best number, the ideal number is no dose wasted and that every single dose given is actually administered to someone. However, in an exercise this large in scale and ongoing, we are comparatively speaking, not extremely wasteful or not wasteful as a state,” said Dawn Marcelle, MD., MPH, the Capitol Area Regional Medical Director.

Dr. Marcelle said Louisiana may not use all the doses, but the state has a system down to refrigerate the vaccine and keep tabs on expiration dates so they can be used.

Numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show Louisiana currently ranks 39th in percent of vaccines administered. We are one of the highest ranking deep south states. Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama are all at the bottom of the list.

Dr. Marcelle said Louisiana’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. The CDC ranks Louisiana 908 out of 1,000 it comes to vaccine equity. The national average is 652.

“We have seen the health disparaties and inequities based upon race that have been highlighted with COVID and we’ve also had to pay special attention to rural areas and other parts of our state that can simply be difficult for people to access health care services on a routine basis,” said Dr. Marcelle.

You can find a list of vaccine providers here.

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