SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The CEO of Oschner LSU Health Shreveport is denying public accusations leveled by a local state senator of “preferential treatment” in the hospital’s distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The response comes after Shreveport Sen. Greg Tarver sent a letter Friday to Oschner LSU Health Shreveport CEO Chuck Daigle claiming thirty individuals who do not meet the guidelines for vaccine distribution put in place by Gov. John Bel Edwards got it anyway from the hospital on December 23.
On Friday night, Daigle told KTAL/KMSS the accusations were false.
“Mr. Tarver’s accusations do not stand up in the base of reality, in general, nor in the specific,” said Daigle. “Oschner self-reported an incident on December 23rd, and went public with that self-reporting of a deviation in the vaccination program. We quickly took steps to rectify that situation, and insure vaccination in accordance of all protocols.”
Oschner LSU Health Shreveport also released a statement Friday night. You can read that statement in full below.
“Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport takes our role as stewards of the COVID-19 vaccine very seriously. At this time, our vaccine shipments remain unpredictable. On December 23, Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport received an unexpected shipment of 600 doses which was distributed across multiple campuses to be used for healthcare workers. Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport received 250 doses of the 600 doses. Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport administered 125 vaccinations from this shipment and provided 125 to our medical school partner LSU Health Shreveport to ensure the full allotment is utilized.
With this unexpected shipment, staff were operating under the impression that there were limited time constraints and prematurely extended the invitation to vaccinate healthcare workers, emergency response and law enforcement, medical students and clinical residents and 20-30 community members who were available during the limited time period. All 125 doses were used in an effort to not waste any vaccine. This was an unplanned circumstance and Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport acknowledges this was a deviation from the intended distribution process. We take full responsibility for any confusion this may have caused.
Across the entire Ochsner Health organization, more than 10,000 doses have been administered according to the protocol and this was an isolated incident. It is our goal with each shipment to quickly and efficiently offer the vaccine to the tiered groups outlined by the CDC prior to making it available to the general public.” – Oschner LSU Health Shreveport