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Everyone 16 and older is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine



MONROE, La. –  As of Monday, everybody in the State of Louisiana who is 16 and older is now eligible to get the vaccine. We spoke with the regional administrator with Region 8 for the Louisiana Department of Health to see how the vaccine rollout has been going.

Region 8 covers many of our parishes in the ArkLaMiss. So far, area hospitals, health units and other vaccine areas have been efficient in getting the shots out since the vaccine was released.

“We’ve initiated almost 75,000 shots, vaccines throughout Region 8, with 47,000 completed the series” says Jeff Toms, Regional Administrator of Region 8 for the Louisiana Department of

Getting the shots out recently have been a slow process.

“Several providers over the last couple weeks have mentioned that they were not filling up the amount of vaccine they have with slots” Toms said.

Officials are hopeful more appointments will be made now that more residents are eligible. For those who have received the vaccine so far, some side effects have been reported, but it’s been variable among recipients.

“They’ve all been mild for the most part. We have had a few that have had anaphylaxis but we’ve not had anybody that we know of in the parish that has died from receiving the vaccine” says Dr. Jackie White, Medical Director for Region 8.

She offers some advice for those wary of taking the shot.

“I’d love them to talk with their provider because a lot of people have very legitimate questions and concerns, and have a history of allergies” White said.