Louisiana Expands Vaccine Eligibility Requirements

During his press conference on Match 9, Governor John Bel Edwards announces an expansion for vaccine eligibility. All Louisianans, 16 and older, who have health conditions that make them more vulnerable and susceptible to virulent coronavirus complications can receive the vaccine. 

The eligibility requirements were able to expand because of the slack in between the scheduling for vaccinations. 

In addition to the new eligibility group, any staff working in congregant facilities are now eligible due to the high exposure they face daily. 

Anyone a part of the previous eligibility group remains eligible for the vaccination. 

In the press conference, Governor Edwards says, “Our primary goal in establishing priorities for vaccination would be to. persevere hospital capacity and to save lives. And this is why we are working with individuals with more co-morbid health conditions that predispose them to a poor outcome if they contract the virus,”

If they are eligible to receive the vaccine, then Louisianans must complete a form for the vaccine provider at the desired vaccination location.

Jenny Delong, a pharmacist at the CVS Pharmacy located at 1850 N Highway 190, says, “There have been a lot more requests but we have a limited supply [Johnson and Johnson].  We are only allowed to do 15 [vaccinations] a day. Appointments are filling up fast, We have to turn some people away since appointments are made days in advance.”

Vaccinations are available by appointment only. However, there are multiple locations distributing vaccinations at this time in Covington, such as the local pharmacies and clinics, and they have a finite amount of vaccines every month.

There are only three types of coronavirus vaccines. They are the Pfizer, Madonna, and Johnson and Johnson. 

Despite having different vaccinations at their disposal, the Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine with the CDC approval for Louisianans at ages 16 or 17. The Madonna and Johnson and Johnson are the vaccines available for those that are 18 and older

Currently, the only vaccination that is available at St. Tammany Hospital is Pfizer. 

According to Governor Edwards, the state does have a stable supply of the Moderna vaccines as they await another allocation of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at the end of the month.

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During the press conference, Governor Edward said, “Our goal is not to have any vaccines sitting on a shelf any longer than is absolutely necessary. And so this new priority that I’m talking about is effective immediately.” 

Kenneth Schneck, a teacher at Covington High eligible for the vaccine, said, “It’s imperative that we take the vaccine as soon as possible if we can.”

The vaccination is available for those that need it most, regardless of wealth or status. 

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