Family receives COVID vaccine following eligibility expansion, vaccination efforts continue

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Posted at 10:13 PM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 23:20:55-05

For many families the vaccine eligibility expansion brings them one step closer to a return to normal.

Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced a broad expansion of eligibility, allowing some as young as 16 to get a vaccine.

The new guidelines expand the pre-existing conditions that will allow people to get vaccinated. Among the more common ailments are obesity, high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes.

Those between the ages of 16 and 18 can only get the Pfizer vaccine -- but those 18 and up can get any of the three vaccines.

Although many are relieved by this news, the work continues to get people vaccinated.

With the eligibility expanding across Louisiana, Acadiana resident Chas Polotzola and his mother Bambi got their vaccines.

"We feel like he's protected and we're ready to get back to life sort of as we knew it before the pandemic. We're hoping that this is just the first step to it," said Bambi Polotzola.

Chas, who has autism, receives in-person services through UL’s LIFE Program, which made it essential for him to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

"It's so important that they continue to receive those services and that requires them to have staff coming into the home. I'm glad the state put that as a priority group,” added Polotzola.

Although eligibility is expanding, those most vulnerable are having issues getting a vaccine because of limited access.

For those in Acadiana who may not have to viable resources to set up a vaccine appointment, the COVID vaccine virtual service is filling that gap.

"A lot of people in our community don't have a computer or they're not proficient in working a computer, so this gives them another avenue to be able to get a vaccine and have somebody actually help them and walk them through it," said call center volunteer Stacy Conrad.

Conrad and other volunteers with the COVID vaccine call center are working around the clock to schedule appointments to keep up with the demand of those who want to get vaccinated.

"I believe we booked over 40 appointments on Sunday, [Monday] we booked over 50, and just today we've booked over 100. Over 200 appointments in three days and we still have people on the phones right now working on booking appointments,” Conrad added.

To set up a vaccine appointment you can call the COVID-19 Call Center at 337-362-0777.

To volunteer email: or click here.

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