There has been plenty of press lately about the possibility of COVID-19 vaccines being approved before the end of the year. But when exactly is that expected?

"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or 12th of December," said Slaoui.

This news has Louisiana health officials very happy.

"We're extremely excited about that possibility. We've been so eager for a vaccine to come," said Stacy Hall, Director of the Office of Public Health Immunization Program within the Louisiana Department of Health.

Now, exactly what percentage of those available vaccines will our state receive? We do, in fact, know that already.

"What we do know is we'll get an allocation of vaccine and it's pro-rata, based on the state and national population. So, the amount that's available nationally, Louisiana will get 1.46 percent of that amount of vaccine," Hall said.

The state also has a COVID-19 playbook ready when it comes to the vaccine. In Louisiana, like most other states, certain people will get priority when it comes to access to the shots early on.

“So, I think that will likely include people who are going to work, and they know they’re being exposed to COVID-19, you know, those that are nurses and physicians, and they clean and they do laundry for COVID-19 wards, also another priority and I’m not sure what will come first or second will be people that are most likely to get really severe illness and possibly even die,” said Hall.

While the Louisiana Department of Health is elated about the progress made on vaccines, they are urging the public not to let its guard down and become complacent about the CDC guidelines.

"We know what to do right now, how important it is to wear a mask, hand-hygiene and social distancing," said Hall.

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