Governor John Bel Edwards announced that beginning Monday, February 22, an additional group of Louisianans – K-12 teachers, school support staff, day care staff, those who are pregnant and Louisianans aged 55 to 64 with certain health conditions – are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This group represents around 475,000 Louisianans and will bring the total population eligible in Louisiana to nearly 1.65 million people. Louisiana is currently vaccinating people in Priority Group 1B-Tier One.
Louisiana’s COVID vaccination strategy relies on making vaccine doses available across the state through community clinics, pharmacies, hospitals and other health care providers. So far 812,962 total vaccine doses have been administered in Louisiana, with 271,216 Louisianans receiving both doses.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley supports the Governor’s decision. Brumley said, “I’m grateful and relieved to know our early childhood workers, as well as k-12 educators and school staff, now have access to this vaccine. This signifies the value of our essential employees and will enable even more Louisiana centers and schools to be fully open to serve students, families and communities. I extend my thanks to Governor Edwards, the Louisiana Department of Health and our state’s medical professionals for working alongside us throughout this pandemic and for making our educational community a priority. Although not perfect, Louisiana has managed to maintain an early childcare system and a k-12 educational program throughout this pandemic.”
Dr. Brumley first requested priority vaccine access for educators and staff in a December 12, 2020 letter to LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips, copied to Governor Edwards.