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Ochsner cancels thousands of vaccine appointments due to shortage

Statewide over the last three weeks, Ochsner hospitalizations are down from 640 to 520. It’s an encouraging trend that doctors are seeing across the state.

NEW ORLEANS — If you were anticipating finally getting your COVID vaccine this week at an Ochsner hospital or clinic, you'll have to wait.

Thousands of people who had vaccine appointment dates set at Ochsner are now back on a waiting list after the federal government failed to deliver more vaccines to the state.

“When we realized that the supply was going to continue to be an issue, we said that's it, no more new ones. Let's cancel the ones we have. Let's look at this we will reschedule,” said Dr. Robert Hart, the Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner Health.

Here are the numbers: Last week Ochsner got 3,900 doses delivered to its southeast Louisiana clinics. This week only 1,950 doses. Statewide that's 70% fewer doses. 

There were 21,400 appointments that had to be canceled. As of now, 10% of those appointments have been rescheduled. Keep in mind, this is only for people who were scheduled for a first dose.

“The second doses so far come in a different shipment,” Dr. Hart said.

So those second dose appointments are fine. Everyone else will be notified and rescheduled in the same original order when more vaccine comes in. For now, no Ochsner facility statewide is accepting vaccine appointments. So far 86,000 people have gotten their vaccines at Ochsner.

Today, Ochsner also had some promising news.

“We're happy to see the COVID consensus continue to decline. I know we're seeing COVID patients in our ERs continue to decline,” said Warner Thomas, Ochsner President and CEO.

Statewide over the last three weeks, Ochsner hospitalizations are down from 640 to 520 now. It’s an encouraging trend that doctors are seeing everywhere across the state.

It is important to note that these cancellations only affect Ochsner clinics and hospitals. It does not affect your scheduled appointments at Ochsner pharmacies.

RELATED: 21,000 on Ochsner COVID vaccine list; CEO says no doses wasted

RELATED: Downward trends in COVID cases and hospitalizations, race to get vaccine doses before variants spread

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