Virus Outbreak Louisiana Vaccine

Corinne Mack (right), an emergency room technician, is inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by nurse Meshoca Williams at Ochsner Hospital on O'Neal Lane on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La.

(The Center Square) – Louisiana residents who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can schedule an appointment with one of 618 providers this week, the state health department announced Monday.

That’s in addition to community vaccination events being held around the state. The list of providers and events are listed at the Louisiana Department of Health’s website. Residents also can call 211 to find a nearby provider.

Vaccines currently available are by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The first two require two shots to get the full benefit, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is effective after one dose.

Louisiana providers include 258 chain pharmacies, 151 independent pharmacies, 67 hospitals, 41 public health providers, 27 urgent cares, 34 federally qualified health centers, 21 medical practices, eight rural health clinics and 11 other health care providers.

Vaccine supplies from the federal government are limited.

More than 1.6 million of the state’s estimated 4.65 million residents are eligible to be vaccinated. Anyone who is at least 65 years old is eligible.

Other eligible groups include:

• People ages 55-64 with at least one of the conditions listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as placing them at an "increased risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19,” including cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, heart conditions (including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies), weakened immune system from solid organ transplant, obesity, sickle cell disease, smoking and type 2 diabetes mellitus;

• Anyone who is pregnant;

• 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 care providers and staff;

• Nonemergency medical transportation providers and staff;

• Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients, including older and younger people with disabilities older than 16 who receive community or home-based care and clients of home health agencies;

• Interpreters and support service providers working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind;

• Health-related support personnel, including lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses and pharmacy staff;

• Schools of allied health students, residents and staff;

• State and local essential COVID-19 emergency response personnel;

• Some elections staff for the March and April elections;

• Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or day care.

More than 1.1 million doses have been administered in Louisiana, and more than 400,000 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the health department.

Staff Reporter

David Jacobs is a Baton Rouge-based award-winning journalist who has written about government, politics, business and culture in Louisiana for almost 15 years. He joined The Center Square in 2018.