CDC issues new guidance on who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

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BATON ROUGE – The CDC has changed guidance on who can receive the Coronavirus vaccine.

Right now, Louisiana is not making any changes on who is eligible to get vaccinated. The CDC though is recommending states begin offering the vaccines to those 65 and up.
The news came during what is presumed to be the state’s last call with the Trump administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Governor John Bel Edwards said, “This is not a minor, insubstantial change.”

The state’s vaccination plan is based on guidelines from the CDC. Before the announcement, it was recommended those 75 and up get the vaccine. Now, the CDC says those 65 on up should be eligible.

“We’re already focused on those most vulnerable in Louisiana,” Governor Edwards said. “Those who are 70 and older and we still have a lot of those individuals who have yet to be vaccinated, but want the vaccine.”

The federal guidance determines future allocations based on how well current vaccines are administered. This means sites will have to be diligent and timely with reporting data.

Edwards said, “We’re going to be hearing from the new administration to determine if it will maintain those changes.”

The Governor is hopeful Operation Warp Speed will give better information on distribution to ensure second doses are available as recommended.

“Obviously, the more people who get vaccinated, especially those who are more vulnerable to disease than you can expect fewer people going into the hospital and fewer people dying, but we are quite a ways from that right now,” Edwards said.

Despite the surge in cases, Governor Edwards is not implementing new restrictions.

He is extending the modified phase 2 proclamation another 28 days. The Governor is also asking businesses to allow as many employees as possible to work from home to slow the spread of the virus.

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