LDH makes some exceptions on who can get the coronavirus vaccine based on underlying health conditions

LDH makes some exceptions on patients who can get the coronavirus vaccine based underlying health conditions

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health says that if someone is 16 or older and are undergoing home health care and dialysis, they can get the shot even though they are younger than 70.

Dialysis medical directors say this shot is needed to protect their patients considering they are classified as a vulnerable group. The team at Fresenius Kidney Care has received almost 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine since December. The Department of Health sent it their way to try and get as many of their dialysis patients vaccinated.

Patients of the clinic like Frankie Shaw has been receiving dialysis for her kidneys for five years, she says, “I was scared about getting the shot, I was asked about it and I turned it down twice. I didn’t want the shot, I didn’t understand it. When I did research by myself to figure out what the shot was about and talked to the nurses here…it was like okay, I’ll take the shot.”

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The 44-year-old says that even though she was hesitant at first, she does not regret getting the shot, and on the plus side she did not have major side effects.

“Due to the simple fact like you said because of my age, I would have normally had to wait. Second, like I said by me being a dialysis patient it’s just…I was blessed because I know I can go out there any day, any moment and get sick,” adds Shaw.

Dialysis is a procedure to treat failing kidneys, medical directors at Fresenius Kidney Care say it’s not necessarily about the age of their patients, but how vulnerable this group is that makes it necessary for them to become vaccinated.

“They are immunocompromised and the studies are showing that dialysis patients who do get COVID are 11 times more likely to go into the hospital,” says Terry Bellon who is the director of operations for Frensenius Kidney Care.

Other clinics and hospitals in Metro Baton Rouge have also started vaccinating their dialysis patients, hope it can ward off COVID in people who are already dealing with so much.

LDH says they will look into other major health conditions once the state expands into the larger tiers of the vaccination rollout.

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