COVID-19 Vaccination Information
On February 22, 2021, early childhood educators became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Louisiana. To better serve the community, we've put together the following Frequently Asked Questions about the vaccines.
Please note: right now, there are more people eligible for the vaccine than available vaccines. Public health officials expect that the number of vaccines available will increase over the next three weeks. It may take some time to get an appointment, and some vaccine providers are working through their waitlists of previously eligible people before booking additional appointments right now.
Which staff at a center are eligible for the vaccine?
The short answer is "everyone!" Anyone who works at a center is eligible, including part-time and full-time employees. This includes teachers, administrators, cooking and cleaning personnel, support staff, directors, etc.
What other groups are eligible for the vaccine right now?
Visit the Louisiana Department of Health's web site for an up-to-date list of currently eligible groups.
Where can I learn more about the vaccine and whether it is safe?
- The CDC has lots of resources, including Facts about the COVID-19 Vaccines, an FAQ, myths and facts, a special section for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding and information on vaccine safety. They even have printable posters for child care centers that you can customize with your own logo. The CDC web site includes information translated into many other languages, including Spanish and Vietnamese.
- Louisiana Department of Health has lots of information and communication tools.
- Ready Nola has many helpful resources on the vaccine.
- Children's Hospital hosted a series of town halls for educators.
Why should I get the vaccine?
The vaccines currently approved are over 90% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection. Experts believe, based on the clinical trials involving over 70,000 people, that the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19 even if you do contract it. The CDC offers more information on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Where can I get a vaccine?
- Vaccines are available many different types of providers, including pharmacies, clinics, hospitals, and large vaccination events.
- You must make an appointment. At this time, no providers are accepting walk-ins.
- You do not have to get the vaccine in the same parish where you live or work.
- Due to recent severe weather and the large number of people who recently became eligible, you may not be able to get an appointment immediately, but it's worth it to keep trying!
New Orleans residents can call 311 or register online to get placed on the citywide waitlist.
What should I bring to my appointment to show I'm eligible as a child care provider?
Anyone getting the vaccine should bring their government-issued identification. To be on the safe side, we also recommend bringing proof of employment, such as a pay stub, a work ID or badge, and/or a signed letter from your employer. You may want to ask what to bring when you make your appointment.
How much does it cost?
COVID-19 vaccines are free of charge.
Can my employer require me to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Most employers are not requiring the vaccine, but it is legal in Louisiana for employers to make it mandatory.
Why will I need to keep using a mask and practice social distancing after receiving the vaccine?
Continuing to follow COVID-19-safe practices, such as using a mask and staying at least six feet from others, will protect you and others after you get the vaccine. Your body isn't immediately fully immune after getting your first shot because it takes weeks for your body to build up immunity. It is also not clear yet whether vaccinated individuals can spread it to others if they become exposed to COVID-19, even if they don't become ill themselves. Because of this, it will be very important for EVERYONE to continue practicing basic COVID-19 safe practices at least until we are able to achieve herd immunity by vaccinating most of the population.