Gov. John Bel Edwards said that beginning Monday, more than two dozen categories of essential workers will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, an expansion that likely includes tens of thousands of people. 

Louisiana last week took the extraordinary step of opening up eligibility to anyone 16 and older with certain health conditions. Those categories were broadly defined, and included smokers and those who are definitionally "overweight," a blunt metric covering roughly 70% of the state's adult population. 

The latest expansion in eligibility will go into effect on Monday, March 22 and will include the following workers: 

  • Higher Education faculty/staff
  • Food and agricultural workers
  • Food service (restaurant/bar) workers
  • Hotel workers
  • Judiciary workers
  • Postal workers
  • Manufacturing workers 
  • Grocery store workers
  • Transportation workers, including river pilots
  • Water and wastewater workers
  • Energy workers
  • Bank tellers
  • Construction workers
  • Clergy
  • IT and communications workers
  • Media workers
  • Public safety engineers and other workers
  • Public health workers
  • Frontline government workers
  • Child, youth and family service workers
  • Veterinarians and support staff
  • Waste management workers
  • Public and private security and emergency preparedness workers

Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater