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All Essential Workers Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine in Louisiana, Starting Monday

Photo courtesy of Jay LaPrete / AP

Starting Monday, all essential workers, including people working in food service and grocery stores, manufacturing, construction, clergy and other essential jobs will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines in Louisiana.

Posted: Mar 18, 2021 2:54 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2021 2:55 PM

BATON ROUGE – Starting Monday, all essential workers, including people working in food service and grocery stores, manufacturing, construction, clergy and other essential jobs will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines in Louisiana, regardless of their underlying health conditions, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced today.

Newly eligible populations also include postal, transportation, judiciary and media workers, faculty and staff of institutes of higher education and more frontline government workers. This group, called Priority Group 1-B, Tier Two, covers essential workers not previously eligible. (See full list below.)

This change applies to everyone 16 years and older. Currently in the United States, adults are eligible for three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. People who are 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should work with their vaccine provider to ensure they are receiving that specific vaccine. All previously eligible people in Louisiana, including people 65 and older and those with certain health conditions, also remain eligible for the COVID vaccine.

“Our vaccine strategy in Louisiana has been to make sure that we were vaccinating the most high-risk individuals to protect them from getting COVID-19 and also preserve capacity in our hospitals. We’ve seen encouraging trends in our percent positivity of tests and also a drop in the number of Louisianans hospitalized with COVID. While many essential workers may already be eligible because of their underlying health conditions, beginning Monday, additional workers in key sectors will be able to get their vaccines, which is good news for tens of thousands of Louisianans who have helped keep our state running during these very trying times,” Gov. Edwards said. “This is likely the last expansion of vaccine eligibility in Louisiana before we make the shots available to everyone 16 and older, which we are targeting for some time in April.

“In some areas, it still may be challenging for workers to get an appointment, and I hope they will be patient with our vaccine providers who have worked tirelessly during this unprecedented vaccine effort,” Gov. Edwards said. “President Biden recently set a goal to open eligibility to all adults by the start of May, and I am confident, through continued commitments of doses from the federal government, that Louisiana will exceed this goal. I look forward to a day soon when all adult Louisianans are eligible for these safe and effective vaccines and we are no longer losing so many of our family members and neighbors to COVID-19.”

For information about how to get vaccinated in Louisiana and for the latest vaccine eligibility groups, visit www.covidvaccine.la.gov.

PRIORITY GROUPS IN LOUISIANA

Within priority groups and tiers there is no particular sequencing. Participating providers must make available vaccine available to anyone who is eligible. Failure to do so will inform future decisions about distribution.

Priority Group 1-A: Ongoing

Health care workers at Tier 1 and Tier 2 hospitals
Staff and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities
First responders to serve as vaccinators (Emergency Medical Services, fire personnel, law enforcement)

Priority Group 1-B, Tier One: Ongoing

Dialysis providers and patients
Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff
Behavioral health providers and staff
Urgent care clinic providers and staff
Community care providers and staff
Dental providers and staff
Nonemergency Medical Transportation staff
Professional home care providers (including hospice workers and both paid and unpaid home care staff) and home care recipients (including older and younger people with disabilities over the age of 16 who receive community or home-based care, as well as clients of home health agencies)
American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
Health-related support personnel (lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses, pharmacy staff)
Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
Law enforcement and other first responders
Persons 65 years old and older
Louisiana Unified Command Group
State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections
Teachers and any other support staff working onsite in K-12 or daycare
Legislators and legislative staff
All pregnant persons, regardless of age
Staff of congregate living facilities
Individuals aged 16-64 with at least one of the conditions listed by the CDC as placing them at an increased or likely risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC list of conditions can be found here. They are:
Asthma (moderate to severe)
Cancer
Cerebrovascular disease
Chronic kidney disease
Chronic liver disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Cystic fibrosis
Severe neurologic conditions such as dementia
Down Syndrome
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
Hypertension
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30kg/m2 or higher but < 40kg/m2)
Severe obesity (BMIC >40kg/m2)
Overweight (BMI 25-30 kg/m2)
Pregnancy
Pulmonary fibrosis
Sickle Cell Disease
Smoking
Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Priority Group 1-B, Tier Two: Starting Monday, March 22

Higher Education faculty/staff
Food and agricultural workers
Food service (restaurant/bar) workers, hotel workers, and other hospitality workers
Judiciary staff, including judges, court staff, clerks of court and staff, district attorneys and public defenders
Postal workers
Manufacturing workers
Grocery store workers
Transportation workers, including river pilots
Water and wastewater workers
Energy workers
Bank tellers
Construction workers
Clergy
IT and communications workers
Media workers
Public safety engineers and other workers
Public health workers
Frontline government workers
Child, youth, and family service workers
Veterinarians and support staff
Waste management workers
Public and private security and emergency preparedness workers

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