Monroe Dispatch - No Struggle, No Progress

COVID-19 Vaccine Expands


February 18, 2021

Louisiana is widening access to the coronavirus vaccine to newly include anyone age 65 to 69, authorizing another quarter-million people for the shots if they can find an available appointment, under plans announced by Governor John Bel Edwards. People 70 and older had previously been allowed to receive the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in Louisiana. The drop in age to 65 places Louisiana in line with more than half the nation's other states already following the age eligibility recommendation from the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, those newly eligible will find themselves in the same struggle their older counterparts have grappled with for weeks: trying to find a hospital, clinic or pharmacy with available vaccine doses and book an appointment or get on a list for a future possible immunization slot. More than 404,000 people in the state have received at least their first dose of the two-dose immunization so far, with nearly 131,000 people getting both doses. The state has arranged for the vaccine in Louisiana to be available to health care employees; EMS workers: firefighters; people with kidney failure anyone aged 70 and older; many people with disabilities over the age of 16-64 with high-risk medical conditions and essential workers. The state is also arranging the vaccinations for state and local COVID-19 response officials who will not have to compete for appointments through the network of providers.

It is important to note that the CDC is looking out for everyone by following four principles to guide decision-making when supply is limited.

· Maximize benefits and minimize harms. Respect and care for people using the best available data to promote good health.

· Mitigate health inequities. Reduce health disparities in the burden of the COVID-19 disease.

· Promote justice. Treat affected groups, populations, and communities fairly. Remove unfair and unjust barriers to COVID-19 vaccination.

· Promote transparency. Make decisions that are clear, understandable and open for review.


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