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People seeking coronavirus vaccine flood Baton Rouge-area pharmacy phones: 'Good reason to be busy'

The Advocate


The phones are busy at Baton Rouge-area pharmacies selected to be among the first in the state to administer the coronavirus vaccine to members of the public.


Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’ announcement last week that Louisiana’s limited vaccination program would expand to 107 pharmacies statewide — 23 of them in the Baton Rouge area — the list of those in line to receive the vaccine at Bertrand’s Pharmacy in Gonzales quickly ballooned to more than 300 people.


“People have been walking in, the phone’s been off the hook, a lot of our regular customers and customers who may have been here at one time and don’t come any more are asking,” said Jeanne Bertrand, who owns the pharmacy with her husband. “But I’m ready to roll. When we go home tonight, I’ll be starting on my list and setting up appointments for the next couple of days.”


Bertrand’s received 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday morning and plans to begin vaccinations Tuesday, then space them out over several days, Bertrand said.


The initial wave of vaccinations at the pharmacies are only available for people over the age of 70, end stage renal disease facility personnel and patients, ambulatory and outpatient health care workers, home agency patients and workers, and schools of allied health students, residents and staff.


While the initial shipment of the vaccine is limited in supply, Edwards said he expects the number of doses to “increase dramatically” in the coming weeks, allowing Bertrand, 54, to make a dent in her long list of interested patients. Continue Reading

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