BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s health department is encouraging hospitals to use their extra coronavirus vaccine doses to immunize people aged 70 and older.

Hospitals across Louisiana have received thousands of Pfizer vaccine doses for their own workers and continue to receive new doses weekly. The health department said Tuesday that any excess should be steered to those newly eligible. That's an effort to boost the limited supply available to the estimated 640,000 elderly and outpatient health care workers on that newly eligible list.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday how many doses were available at hospitals to administer to them, but it was certain to be a small number.

(Story written by MELINDA DESLATTE/AP)

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