Pharmacists get ready to vaccinate new eligible group
BATON ROUGE – Starting Monday, 275,000 more people in the state will be allowed to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor John Bel Edwards expanded eligibility to those 65 and older, law enforcement and election workers, which means more work for pharmacies.
“The books are filling up everywhere, the schedules are filling up everywhere, it’s a massive amount of people,” said Marla Gibbens, owner of Bocage Pharmacy.
For the past month, it’s been go, go, go for Gibbens.
“People are excited. They’re trying to get their parents or themselves in,” she said.
The phone calls are not going away either with the expansion of the priority group.
“We’re lowering the eligible age for receiving the vaccine from 70 to 65. We’ll also be adding a few small groups,” said Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday.
Those now able to get their vaccines may have to wait a bit though. Over at Dry’s Pharmacy in Zachary, they’ve had to cut down their vaccine administration to 50 to 75 doses per week. The owner says the process takes too much staff time to do more in their business model.
The state is expected to get another shipment of doses, though, to help supply the demand. That amount is around a 5 percent jump.
“We're in a race against time right now to get as many people in the priority group as possible to make sure we are as protected as we can be," said Gov. Edwards.
With the expanded priority group, nearly 1.2 million Louisiana residents are estimated to have access to the shots. Everyone who is eligible is required to make an appointment in order to get the vaccine.