Louisiana Vaccine Eligibility Opens to Everyone 16+ on Monday

On Wednesday, March 24, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an expansion of eligibility for coronavirus vaccination to more residents.

Edwards says Louisiana will see an increase in vaccine dose allocations starting next week.

Louisiana will now receive more than 148,000 first doses directly next week, in addition to vaccine doses provided to partner pharmacies in a federal pharmacy program, as well as the federally qualified Healthcare Center program. More than one million Louisianans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

With those new allocations, the governor says that starting Monday, March 29, vaccine eligibility will be open to everyone in the state over the age of 16, regardless of health conditions.

“Based on the doses that we will have available next week, now is absolutely the time to expand vaccine eligibility as widely as possible, which is for everyone 16 and older in Louisiana. This is an exciting development, but the hard work of making sure our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors have access to the vaccine will continue for months, ”said Governor Edwards. “Our goal has been to get the doses of the vaccine that we receive into someone’s arm within seven days after the doses arrive, because an injection on a shelf is not helping us end this pandemic. The three vaccines available are safe and effective for all communities and represent our best hope of bringing Louisiana Back. “

Appointments will still be required and providers may need time to update their scheduling systems, which means that people may have to wait a few days to schedule their appointments for the next week.

There are three licensed COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States: two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and a one-dose injection from Johnson & Johnson. People 16 and 17 years old are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should consult with their primary care physician or vaccine provider to ensure that the appropriate vaccine is administered.

“I am deeply grateful to the Louisiana healthcare workers and vaccine providers who have worked tirelessly not only to treat sick patients, but now to vaccinate our people. This has been an absolutely unprecedented effort and Louisiana’s nurses, physicians and other healthcare workers have risen to the occasion every time they have been called upon. I hope people will be patient for the next few days as providers start accepting appointments. Please know that there will be enough doses for everyone who wants an injection to eventually receive one, ”Governor Edwards said.

Edwards spoke about his concerns about Region 5 in Louisiana. In that region, the percentage of positivity has continued to rise over the past 5 weeks, said Dr. Kanter with LDH. That area includes Lake Charles

Kanter asked those residents to be vigilant, masquerade, and remain socially distant. He also urged residents of that area to get vaccinated.

“Variants continue to grow in Louisiana”,

164 confirmed variant of the UK in the state. 96 of those cases are in Region 5.

No African or Brazilian coronavirus variants have been reported in Louisiana. With B.1.1.7., Or UK variant, continuing to rise in Louisiana and neighboring states, Edwards and Kanter say it is essential to vaccinate Louisiana as quickly and fairly as possible.

Next week, the first nine pilot sites for the Bring Back Louisiana State Campaign will begin. The effort will cover urban and agricultural areas of the state. Scrutiny and phone calls will happen to connect people to the vaccines they need most.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Health launched the campaign. To sign up to volunteer in this effort, click here.

Zip code 70582 in St. Martin Parish was advertised as a target location.

Dr. Kanter gave an update on what people who are fully vaccinated can expect. He says that those who are fully vaccinated can visit other vaccinated people in the vicinity without masks and without distancing.

Fully vaccinated people can also refrain from self-quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.

In public spaces, masking and social distancing are still necessary as transmission of the virus continues to occur.

Monday Kanter says go get vaccinated. If you have already done so, your work is not done. “Be an ambassador to friends and family, this is how we are going to achieve herd immunity.”

Edwards said Louisianans have a role to play

“I imagine there will be a lot of steps on our way back to normal,” Edwards said.

For information on where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana and for more information, visit COVIDVaccine.la.gov. [gov.louisiana.gov]

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