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Louisiana starts vaccines for ages 70 and over

Seniors 70 and older and certain health care workers will be able to make an appointment at one of the participating pharmacies to get the vaccine.

NEW ORLEANS — People 70 and over and more healthcare workers will be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus starting on Monday.

Gov. John Bel Edwards made the announcement last week that the state will be offering a limited number of doses at more than 100 pharmacies chosen across the state. Starting Monday, this network of pharmacies will start to receive limited doses of the Moderna vaccine. Seniors 70 and older and certain health care workers will be able to make an appointment at one of the participating pharmacies to get the first of the two-shot vaccine.

The list of pharmacies is available on the Louisiana Department of Health website.

Priority Group 1-B, Tier One: Starts Monday, January 4, 2021 (around 640,000 eligible people)

  • Schools of allied health students, residents, and staff
  • End-stage renal disease facility personnel and patients
  • Home agency patients and personnel
  • Ambulatory and outpatient health care personnel
  • Persons 70 years old and older

The announcement spurred significant interest. Louisiana's Department of Health says residents clamoring for immunizations hurried to pharmacies trying to receive a shot, but those vaccinations don’t begin until Monday and will require a scheduled appointment. Some pharmacies’ phone lines have been overwhelmed with people trying to get information.

The health department stresses that only a limited supply of 10,000 vaccine doses will be available for those newly eligible and some pharmacies on the list may not get the vaccine until later in the week. Edwards says there are nearly 500,000 people aged 70 and older in the state and stressed that the process will take time.

“I’m asking those individuals to be patient with your pharmacy,” Edwards said. “This is going to be a limited release to start. Not everyone who is in these priority groups is going to be able to get a vaccine next week.”

At least 45,000 Louisiana health care workers, emergency medical staff, first responders and nursing home staff and residents have received the vaccine. They will continue to be able to be vaccinated in the coming weeks as new groups gain access to the vaccine. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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