COVID vaccine eligibility expands to age 16+ with health conditions

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 13, 2021

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BATON ROUGE – Following a steady resupply of COVID-19 vaccine doses to the state and after a series of successful mass vaccination events, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that Louisiana would expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone 16 and older with health conditions that make them more likely to suffer a serious complication from COVID, based on federal health guidance. This change is effective immediately.

This means anyone 16 or older with one or more of 12 conditions considered by the Centers for Disease Control to be a “definite” high risk, including obesity, cancer, kidney disease or cardiovascular disease, is now eligible for the vaccine. Previously, people were only eligible if they were 55 or older.

This also means anyone 16 or older who is overweight or who has a condition the CDC considers “likely” to put a person at a high risk of serious COVID complications, including conditions like asthma, hypertension or Type 1 diabetes, is immediately eligible to be vaccinated.

The full list of conditions is below and also listed on In addition, staff of congregate living facilities, including jails or prison guards, group home staff, shelter staff and staff or other congregate living facilities are now eligible.

“We routinely communicate with vaccine providers about what they are seeing on the vaccination front lines and it is apparent they can begin to accommodate more eligible people with the increased resupply of doses to the state and also through the federal pharmacy program, which uses Wal-Mart and CVS in Louisiana. When you couple this with the increased spread of variant COVID cases across the state and the recent leveling off of baseline criteria like percent positivity, cases and hospitalizations, it becomes even more important to expand eligibility to those most likely to suffer severe complications or even death if they become infected with COVID,” Gov. Edwards said. “This is great news for tens of thousands of additional, high risk Louisianans who are now eligible to take the COVID vaccines immediately. Appointments will still be required, and I hope people will be patient as doses are still very limited and not everyone will be able to immediately get their vaccine. This is another leap forward for Louisiana as we work together to put the COVID pandemic in our rear view.”

Louisianans who are 16 and 17 years old and who have one of the CDC-defined conditions are only eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine, which is the only currently available vaccine approved for people younger than 18.