Louisianians who aren’t eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine remain patient

Vaccine: Who's not eligible

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Most Louisianians can get the COVID-19 vaccine but what about the people who can’t quite yet?

On Tuesday, March 9, Gov. John Bel Edwards expanded vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 16 with one or more medical conditions defined by the CDC.

“I was so excited that I immediately looked up how to make an appointment that day and was able to snag an appointment on the CVS website and called everybody that I knew could qualify,” said Frances Lee.

The expansion covers a lot more people than ever before but there’s still a large group of Louisianians who don’t qualify.

“I have a lot of family and friends who are still waiting to be included in the category to get the vaccine and the message is to be patient, continue to wear your mask, and your time is coming,” said Andrew Hundley. “They’re producing a lot of vaccines and hopefully, in the next month or two everyone, every adult in the country will be eligible to get the vaccine and we’ll have access to that.”

So, how many people are waiting to get the vaccine and when will it become available to everyone?

Dr. Joseph Kanter said it’s difficult to determine how many people are still ineligible but future expansion will depend on an increase in the number of vaccine doses the state receives. He released this full statement:

“On Tuesday, the Governor expanded the eligible populations to include all Louisianians 16 and older who have a comorbidity listed by the CDC as placing them at a higher risk for severe illness due to COVID as well as staff in congregate settings, such as jails, homeless shelters and group homes. This decision was made as vaccine supply and shipments has become more stable and by focusing on those most at risk. Future additions to groups that are eligible will also depend on an increased in the number of vaccine doses that the state receives. As such, we can’t give a timeline for those changes. However, it is important to note that there is significant cross-over between industries and these risk categories so it is important that everyone check their eligibility status.”

People who are still awaiting the vaccine said the best thing to do is remain patient and continue to follow safety guidelines.

“For those who don’t have the opportunity, I think it’s equally important to follow the guidelines still,” said Trey Bartholomew. “Even though there’s a vaccine, there’s still a virus out there, so I think it’s crucial for everyone to stay masked up and continue to socially distance.”

Dr. Kanter added it’s important for everyone to check their eligibility status until they are good to go under these new guidelines.

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