By David Jacobs | The Center Square
Louisiana residents can make appointments this week to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at 501 providers across the state, the Louisiana Department of Health announced Monday.
Louisiana expects to receive a total of 90,630 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. The list of providers, including contact information, is available at covidvaccine.la.gov. Residents also can call 211 to find providers near them.
Vaccination is by appointment only, officials said.
Monday is the first day in Louisiana that several groups are eligible to get vaccinated against the illness, including teachers, school support staff, day care workers, pregnant women and residents age 55-64 with certain health conditions.
Qualifying health conditions are listed on the health department’s website and include cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, several heart conditions, obesity, sickle cell disease, smoking and Type 2 diabetes. Residents in the new age range are required to fill out a form attesting they have at least one of the conditions before getting vaccinated.
Groups that continue to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine include residents age 65 and older; dialysis providers and patients; health care and dental clinic workers; home care providers and recipients; sign language interpreters and clients who are deaf and blind; lab, mortuary and pharmacy staff; allied health school students, residents and staff; some election workers and emergency response personnel; and the state’s Unified Command Group, which includes the governor.
Almost 1.65 million Louisiana residents now are eligible, according to the governor’s office.
The eligibility expansion reflects an expected increase in the number of vaccine doses the federal government said it will supply, Edwards said. Vaccine shipments last week were delayed because of the extreme winter weather affecting much of the country, meaning additional doses should be available this week, officials said.
About 813,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in Louisiana as of the most-recent update from the state health department, and more than 271,000 people had completed the two-shot series necessary to get the full benefit.
The providers announced this week include 168 chain pharmacies, 138 independent pharmacies, 47 hospitals, 45 public health providers, 24 urgent care centers, 23 federally qualified health centers, 18 community events, 16 medical practices, 12 rural health clinics and 10 other health care providers.