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Health & Wellness

Am I Eligible for the Vaccine? The Short Answer is YES.

By Ochsner Lafayette General
March 17, 2021

“We are committed to caring for our community and offering anyone who is eligible the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. Vaccination is an important step in controlling this pandemic and ultimately preventing hospitalization and death related to COVID,” said Ochsner Lafayette General Chief Medical Officer Amanda Logue, MD.

“In conversations that we’ve had with patients and members of the community, it has become apparent that many people are not aware that they are eligible, so we want to help get that message out. 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-19 complications, including conditions like asthma or hypertension, is now eligible to receive the vaccine,” continued Dr. Logue.

Effective Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the State of Louisiana has expanded eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccines to include people who have health conditions that may result in a higher risk of disease. If you are between the ages of 18 and 64 (or 16+ if receiving the Pfizer vaccine) and have one of the following conditions, you are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. If you are pregnant, regardless, of age you are eligible. A full list of criteria can be found at Vaccination sites are open to those without insurance regardless of their patient status at Ochsner.

Eligibility by Age or Condition

  • People 65 and older
  • Dialysis providers and patients
  • Pregnant people

People with Certain Medical Conditions

  • People 18-64 (or 16+ for Pfizer vaccine only) with at least one of the conditions listed below by the CDC.
  • Overweight or Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 25kg/m2 or higher) –
  • Any type of diabetes
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Current of former smoker
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe) – use of an inhaler almost every day or at night
  • Cancer or any history of cancer in your past
  • Chronic kidney disease – when your kidneys do not function at 100%
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis
  • Heart conditions including but not limited to heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies – this includes a history of a heart attack, history of heart stents placed, and any kind of heart failure
  • Severe neurologic conditions such as dementia – includes Alzheimer’s disease, seizures or epilepsy and spinal cord injury
  • Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain) – includes previous strokes or “mini-strokes”
  • Chronic liver disease – includes any type of cirrhosis or hepatitis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Down syndrome
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from an organ, blood, or bone marrow transplant, HIV, use of steroids, or other immune-weakening medications
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)

Eligibility by Workforce Category

  • Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff
  • Dialysis providers
  • Behavioral health providers and staff
  • Urgent care clinic providers and staff
  • Community care providers and staff
  • Dental providers and staff
  • Non-emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers and staff
  • Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients (including older and younger people with disabilities over the age of 16 who receive community or home-based care, as well as clients of home health agencies)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
  • Health-related support personnel (lab staff, mortuary staff who have contact with corpses, pharmacy staff)
  • Schools of allied health students, residents and staff
  • Law enforcement and other first responders
  • Louisiana Unified Command Group
  • State Legislators
  • State and local essential COVID emergency response personnel
  • Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections
  • Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or daycare

Eligible community members can make an appointment in the following ways:

  • Visit
  • Call 855-206-9675
    • In partnership with SCP Health, our call center is open 24/7.
  • You do not need to be a past or existing patient of Ochsner to receive the vaccine at any of our vaccination sites.

When will my second dose be scheduled?

  • Community members will automatically be signed up to receive their second vaccine dose.

How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?

  • COVID-19 vaccines are free. While we remain in the pandemic, the federal government has ensured that vaccines are made available to those in need without cost to the individual. A provider cannot ask a patient for payment, though they can bill insurance for a vaccine administration fee or the federal government if a person is uninsured. A provider may also not bill for a regular office visit to administer the vaccine.

Do I still need to take the vaccine if I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered?

  • Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That's because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.

To learn more or for a full list of FAQs, please visit  

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