NEW ORLEANS — Beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday, COVID-19 mass vaccination appointments will be available. Those looking to book an appointment can call 504.290.5200 or log on to LCMCHealth.org/vaccine.
The shipment of nearly 38,000 doses of the new Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine to Louisiana means a mass vaccination site will now open at the New Orleans Convention Center.
We have the details on how that's going to work and when it's going to happen.
This LCMC and city health department partnership is the first FEMA granted site in the state.
And with the thousands of new doses, the Convention Center will open on Thursday.
Wednesday, there will be a soft opening. There are 700 people who were already scheduled on the LCMC waitlist, and the New Orleans health department waitlist, who are booked for Wednesday. And that list is full, but for everyone else, Thursday is the day it opens.
Here is what you need to know:
The New Orleans Convention Center will open its doors on Thursday as a mass vaccination site. It will be run by LCMC, the group that manages six hospitals. The hall is the last one at the end, Hall J. You will be parking in lot F right across the street. This is not a drive-through, and you must have an appointment.
“We are doing it by appointment, which we think is going to lead to a much faster and smooth seamless process for the individual getting the vaccine. We certainly have heard stories of folks in other states waiting for hours in line because it's first come first served” Ayame Dinkler, LCMC Health CAO, told members of the New Orleans City Council.
LCMC is partnering with the RTA. They plan to have a few hubs on the east and west banks where a free shuttle will bring you back and forth from the Convention Center. That might not be ready for Thursday but will be announced soon. For people with disabilities, there will be golf carts to and from the parking lot.
They expect the site to be open at least through next week. There will be translators for Spanish and Vietnamese on site. LCMC is getting several thousand doses of the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine. That is the one you will get at the NOCC.
“It’s really an extremely effective and safe vaccine. The studies, there have been tens of thousands of patients involved in these studies, and they've proven that this is a very efficacious vaccine. It keeps people from getting seriously ill. It keeps them out of the hospitals and more importantly, it keeps them from dying,” Dr. Jeffrey Elder, Emergency Medicine Specialist with LCMC and LSUHSC.
Just to reiterate, you must make an appointment. On the Eyewitness Morning News Wednesday, we will tell you how to do that.
And since this is a one-dose vaccine that can be stored in a refrigerator, there probably won't be any extra doses at the end of the day when people don't show up, so it won't help for people who are not eligible to come wait on a stand by list.