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Louisiana expands COVID-19 vaccine to teachers, school staff, some 55+

People who will be newly eligible include teachers, administrators, and school staff; and those who work at daycare centers, early learning facilities, and more.

NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana is expanding coronavirus vaccine access on Monday to another half-million people.

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Thursday that he's allowing teachers, child care workers, and older people with certain medical conditions to get the shots. People who will be newly eligible starting Monday include K-12 teachers, administrators, and school support staff; and those who work at daycare centers, early learning facilities, and other sites that provide childcare.

Pregnant women and people age 55 to 64 who have one of a dozen preexisting conditions are also included. Those conditions include cancer, Type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sickle cell disease, obesity, and chronic kidney disease, among others.

The new guidelines, which affect around 475,000 people, went into effect Monday, Feb. 22.

“Teachers, school support staff, and daycare employees have played a critical role throughout this pandemic and their safety is important to our continued recovery," Edwards said. "We also know that those people with certain underlying health issues are more likely to have severe or devastating outcomes from COVID, which is why we are expanding vaccine access to people ages 55 to 64 with certain health conditions as outlined by the CDC,” 

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine In Louisiana:

  • Everyone 65 and older
  • Individuals ages 55-64 with at least one of the conditions listed by the CDC as placing them at an “increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19”
    • Cancer
    • Chronic kidney disease
    • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
    • Down syndrome
    • Heart conditions including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
    • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
    • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30kg/m2 or higher but less than 40kg/m2)
    • Severe obesity (BMI greater than 40kg/m2)
    • Sickle cell disease
    • Smoking
    • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or daycare
  • All pregnant persons
  • Dialysis providers and patients
  • Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff
    • Behavioral health providers and staff
    • Urgent care clinic providers and staff
    • Community care providers and staff
    • Dental providers and staff
    • Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers and staff
  • Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients (including older and younger people with disabilities over the age of 16 who receive community or home-based care, as well as clients of home health agencies)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
  • Health-related support personnel (lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses, pharmacy staff)
  • Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
  • Law enforcement and other first responders
  • Louisiana Unified Command Group
  • State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
  • Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections

This is a developing story. Stick with WWLTV.com and watch the Eyewitness News for the latest information.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.