NEW ORLEANS — After having already administered more than 86,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses within the first four weeks of distribution, Ochsner Health has been forced to cancel all scheduled first-dose vaccinations due to critical shortfalls in local supply according to an official statement sent on Friday evening.
The official statement reads:
“Ochsner Health has administered 86,093 COVID-19 vaccine doses, as of Thursday, Jan. 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 percent 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, Jan. 26. We will be cancelling 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 wait list 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 serve 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.”
— Ochsner Health
*Ochsner Lafayette General will contact those impacted via email, phone and text.