LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Right now, Louisiana is in Phase 1A of the vaccination process. That means only frontline healthcare workers in hospitals and residents and staff in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are receiving the vaccine.
After these groups have been vaccinated, Louisiana will move into Phase 1B.
“There is lots of planning behind the scenes so that we can very quickly move from the 1A group into the 1B group. We certainly want people to be vaccinated as quickly as possible and have that protection as quickly as possible,” Regional Medical Director for the Office of Public Health in Acadiana Dr. Tina Stefanski said.
Phase 1B will include frontline essential workers like fire fighters, police officers, and corrections officers as well as workers in grocery stores, public transit, food and agriculture, manufacturing, and postal services.
People 75 years and older and workers in the educational sector like teachers, support staff, and daycare workers are will also receive the vaccine in Phase 1B.
“As soon as we are able to satisfy those requests or the needs for vaccines in those highest priority groups, we will move into that 1B group, but it’s definitely dependent on the vaccine that we’re getting in and our ability to make sure that all those individuals who are most at risk are vaccinated. So as soon as we get to that point, we will follow the governor’s lead and then move into that next round of vaccinations,” Dr. Stefanski told News Ten.
After Phase 1B, Louisiana will move into Phase 1C.
Phase 1C includes people aged 65-74 years old and people younger than 64 with underlying medical conditions.
Other essential workers to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Phase 1C includes workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.
“I’m very hopeful that early next year we will be moving into Phase 1B and then into 1C. And again, there is a lot of planning behind the scenes, so as we receive vaccines into the state, we are able to quickly move and get those vaccines to the high priority groups,” Dr. Stefanski said
“So I want people to know that there is planning in place now, and as soon as we get that vaccine supply in, we will follow the governor’s lead and move through those priority groups and start offering the vaccine to individuals who I know are anxiously awaiting the vaccine,” she added.
Dr. Stefanski says how quickly Louisiana moves into the next phases of the vaccination process depends on the vaccine supply.
She says a there are a few pharmaceutical companies in the final stages of their clinical trials, so she expects Louisiana to have more vaccines available early to mid next year.