Grocery store workers finally eligible for vaccine after latest expansion

Grocery store workers finally eligible for vaccine after latest expansion
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Grocery store employees are weighing in after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ announcement that they would become eligible to receive the vaccine.

The new expansion takes into effect Monday, March 22.

“We’re getting a chance to protect ourselves even further,” said Blaise Calandro, III, assistant store manager at Calandro’s Supermaket.

Grocery stores are one of the few businesses that never closed since the pandemic began.

Calandro said they have a large number of customers and employees who are considered high-risk. He said having access to the vaccine will make sure the store is safe for everyone.

“We have protection and our folks will be able to stay at work and be healthy themselves and be healthy for our customers and everything else regardless of what they might come across,” he said.

Quentin LeBlanc started working at Calandro’s last September and is in constant contact with customers every day.

“I’m interacting with hundreds, and hundreds of people a day,” LeBlanc said.

He said he’s thrilled they will have access to the vaccine after adjusting to a new normal.

“As we sort of progressed along in this, I’ve sort of just accepted this is what I have to do,” he added. “I have to sit here, look at everyone every day and take it one day at a time. You know?”

They hope this will lead them one step closer to how things were before COVID struck.

“It’s really soon that we’re getting out to the general population and hopefully we can get beyond this and get back to what things were when our new normal and go back to our old normal hopefully,” Calandro said.

Governor Edwards said this will be the last expansion before the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

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