The Department of Health and Hospitals’ Office of Public Health will offer the media a chance to experience the process health care workers undergo to receive a smallpox vaccine Thursday, Feb. 13, when the statewide inoculation program begins. This opportunity will include the screening process, counseling and a simulated vaccine demonstration.
The vaccinations mark Phase 1 in a national effort to prepare emergency response teams throughout the country in the event of a public health threat. The Bush administration considers the actual risk of a smallpox attack low, but the plan is in place to vaccinate health care workers who would first come in contact with the disease.
Public health employees in nine locations throughout Louisiana are rolling up their sleeves for this vaccination. Listed below are the smallpox vaccination sites beginning Feb. 13. In addition to these sites, vaccines will begin March 6 at the Family Planning Clinic, 1532 Tulane Ave., New Orleans.
Marrero Health Unit – 1855 Ames Blvd., Marrero, (504) 349-8802
East Baton Rouge Health Unit – 353 N. 12th Street, Baton Rouge, (225) 342-1707
Lafourche Parish Health Unit – 2535 Veterans Blvd., Thibodaux, (985) 447-0921
Lafayette Parish Health Unit – 220 W. Willow St., Bldg. A, Lafayette, (337) 262-5616
Sulphur Parish Health Unit – 201 Edgar St., Sulphur, (337) 527-6361
Rapides Parish Health Unit – 1200 Texas Ave., Alexandria, (318) 487-5282
Caddo Parish Health Unit – 1035 Creswell Ave., Shreveport, (318) 676-5222
West Ouachita Health Unit – 1416 Natchitoches St., West Monroe (318) 362-3428
Hammond Health Unit – 15481 West Club Deluxe Road, Hammond, (985) 543-4165
These vaccination sites will not be open to the general public. Interested members of the news media are urged to arrive no later than 1:30 p.m., as this will be a one-time opportunity to participate in the smallpox vaccination process and film a simulated vaccination. Those wishing to attend are required to R.S.V.P. to the Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Communications and Inquiry Services at (225) 342-1532 by Thursday.