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Preparations underway for mass COVID-19 vaccination event in Bossier City

Louisiana

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Preparations for Saturday’s mass vaccination event are already underway at the Brookshire Grocery Arena in Bossier City.

Organizers are expecting thousands of cars to line up in the parking lot outside the arena for the one-day drive-through clinic, which will be the largest vaccination event in the Shreveport-Bossier area so far. Healthcare workers will have 4,300 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine to administer to those who are eligible.

“Part of the reason that they’re sending it to us is because they know we can get a lot of people vaccinated efficiently,” said LSU Health Shreveport Chief of Infectious Disease, Dr. John Vanchiere, who is helping to coordinate the event with state health officials.

“Because the handling of each vaccine is a little different, what we prefer to do is use one vaccine at one site. So for an example, Saturday we will be using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Here at the fairgrounds, we’ve been using the Pfizer vaccine.”

With the approval Saturday of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, three different coronavirus vaccinations are now available in the U.S. 

Health experts say there are pros and cons for each of the three available vaccines, but Dr. Vanchiere echos the advice of everyone from the nation’s top infectious disease expert to Louisiana’s governor in urging those who are eligible to get whichever one is available.

“Get vaccinated if you’re eligible, and from a health and medical standpoint, these vaccines are all very good. The upside of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is that it has fewer side effects.”

Registration in advance of Saturday’s event is encouraged, but not required. The clinic begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and continues through 5 p.m. Local safety officials are asking that drivers enter from the east side, facing Barksdale Blvd. Click here for more information and registration link.

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