Louisiana widens vaccine access for preexisting conditions
BATON ROUGE - State officials announced Louisiana has widened the eligibility pool for the COVID vaccination to people as young 16 years old, so long as they have a pre-existing condition.
The new group includes those ages 16 to 64 who have a host of conditions that could increase their risk of more severe COVID-19 infections.
Those ages 16 and above will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine and those who are 18 and above can get the Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccines, if they have one or more of the following conditions:
-moderate to severe asthma
-hypertension or high blood pressure
-immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune weakening medicines
-neurologic conditions, such as dementia
-type 1 diabetes mellitus
Anyone of age who works in a congregate shelter, such as a jail or group home, can also get the vaccine.
The governor said he hopes expanding access to the vaccine will help prevent another surge in cases as the state moves into Phase 3 of reopening.
Along with the expanded access, Louisiana hit another major milestone this week: The state has now had more people complete the vaccination process than those who have contracted COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 434,926 cases were reported in Louisiana, and 448,730 people have completed the vaccine series.