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Louisiana turns down vaccine shipment as demand for shots drops



BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana officials hailed the opening of a federal mass vaccination site in Baton Rouge fewer than two weeks ago. But Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday that the location isn’t seeing enough traffic from people seeking the thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses available.

The acknowledgment of problems at the Baton Rouge vaccination site was the latest sign that Louisiana residents’ interest in the vaccine is subsiding.

Edwards said that 1.5 million residents have initiated the vaccine shots, or about a third of the state.

Only one-quarter of the state is fully immunized from COVID-19, meaning they have gotten two shots if they are taking the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson.

Louisiana didn’t seek shipment of some vaccine doses available from the federal government over the past week because of the waning demand.

“We don’t get through this pandemic until a certain percentage of people are vaccinated,” said Edwards at a Thursday press conference.