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President Joe Biden made his first national address as President tonight from the White House. He marked the one-year milestone since the World Health Organization named the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

During the President's address, he discussed COVID vaccines at length, including the partnership brokered between Johnson & Johnson and Merck to have one competitor manufacture the other competitor's vaccine. He also focused on the increasing amount of vaccines that is becoming available every week and the surplus we will have by Summer.

President Biden then directed all levels of Government, from State to Tribal, to make every adult in America eligible for a COVID vaccine in their local jurisdiction by May 1st.

Louisiana has already taken a large step towards this goal. Earlier this week, the state expanded vaccine eligibility, immediately, to those in the state who are 16-years-old and older, who match at least one of these qualifications:

  • moderate to severe asthma
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypertension or high blood pressure
  • immunocompromised state from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • liver disease
  • overweight
  • pulmonary fibrosis
  • thalassemia
  • type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • cancer
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • down syndrome
  • heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies
  • immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
  • obesity or severe obesity
  • pregnancy
  • sickle cell disease
  • smoking
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus

These qualifications cover many in Louisiana, but not all. With this wide eligibility for vaccines, Louisiana is already close to achieving the level of eligibility well ahead of the President's deadline.

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