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FEMA opening mass vaccination site in Louisiana capital city

April 9, 2021 GMT
A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 29, 2021, at "Vaccine Fest," a 24-hour COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Metairie, La., just outside New Orleans, hosted by Ochsner Health System and the Jefferson Parish Government. Every adult in Louisiana over the age of 16 is now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the state's expanded eligibility went into effect Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 29, 2021, at "Vaccine Fest," a 24-hour COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Metairie, La., just outside New Orleans, hosted by Ochsner Health System and the Jefferson Parish Government. Every adult in Louisiana over the age of 16 is now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the state's expanded eligibility went into effect Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A worker readies syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday, March 29, 2021, at "Vaccine Fest," a 24-hour COVID-19 mass vaccination event in Metairie, La., just outside New Orleans, hosted by Ochsner Health System and the Jefferson Parish Government. Every adult in Louisiana over the age of 16 is now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus as the state's expanded eligibility went into effect Monday. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency will open its first Louisiana mass coronavirus vaccination site in Baton Rouge, capable of administering up to 3,000 shots a day, President Joe Biden’s administration announced Friday.

The site is expected to open April 16 at a business park about 5 miles away from the Louisiana Capitol, called the Bon Carre Business Center. People already can make appointments for the site.

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Vaccine doses provided to the location will come directly from the federal government, separate from other doses the state receives and allocates to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and other community vaccination locations.

The White House said the vaccination site in Louisiana’s most populated parish is easily accessible for some of the area’s most vulnerable residents, located near major highways, on the public bus route and large enough to support drive-thru lanes and walk-up vaccinations.

Gov. John Bel Edwards thanked Biden for approving the site, saying it “will result in even more Louisianans getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Louisiana is having difficulty persuading some of its adult residents to get vaccinated, even though shots are available to anyone age 16 and older. The state lags behind most of the nation in the number of vaccine doses administered per capita.

More than 1.3 million people in Louisiana — 29% of the state’s total population — have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to state health department data. More than 898,000 people have been fully immunized, nearly 20%. That’s far below the threshold that scientists say is needed to stop the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.