Gov. Edwards: People ages 65 and older can get the COVID vaccine starting Feb. 8

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:52 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards says the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) will be lowering the age requirement to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for non-medical and first responder personnel in the Phase 1B, Tier 1 from age 70 to 65 beginning Monday, Feb. 8.

First, the next shipment of vaccines is expected to have almost 30,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and almost 42,000 of the Moderna.

“Starting next week there will be an increase in the doses we receive by 5%. That 5% increase will come from Moderna,” said Gov. Edwards.

RELATED: State redirecting vaccine doses from nursing homes to pharmacies

As of Thursday, Feb. 4, 130,978 residents had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine statewide.

The governor says he will receive his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine next week.

The uptick in doses delivered will allow more pharmacies the ability to become distributors. A week from today 56 Walmart pharmacies across the state will get their first batch and then receive 14,000 doses per week after that. With more doses rolling in, more people will be eligible to get that shot.

LIST: 406 COVID-19 vaccine providers in Louisiana

“We’re going to be lowering the eligible age for receiving the vaccine from 70 to 65,” said Edwards.

But those aren’t the only people who are going to be eligible. Certain emergency responders along with law enforcement will be able to get their shot, too. And since we have elections coming up, those who will be working the polls in March and April will be eligible. All this will be a key factor in continuing the downward trend in hospitalizations and COVID-19 related deaths.

“It’s clear that we’ve peaked in terms of cases after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and now for the past week or two we’ve been slowly coming down the other side of that peak,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter with LDH.

But that’s not to say we’re in the clear just yet.

“We continue to have what’s ranked by the CDC as the highest category of new cases. That’s over 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over a 7 days period, that’s the case for all 64 parishes,” said Dr. Kanter.

It was also mentioned that the new COVID-19 variant that came from the U.K. is expected to be the dominant strain in Louisiana by march. Leaving the Department of Health on the edge of their seat as it creeps its way into Louisiana just after our states largest spike over the holidays.

“And nature of this is that our ability to detect this variant pale in comparison to how widespread it probably is,” said Dr. Kanter.

Residents can call 211 to find a vaccine provider near them.

Eligible residents must contact a participating provider to make an appointment. Patients who arrive without an appointment will not be vaccinated. LDH cannot make appointments for patients; only providers can.

Patients should receive their second dose of the COVID vaccine at the same location where they received their first dose. Second-dose appointments should be made during the administration of the first dose.

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