In recent weeks, members of the LSU community have started to receive vaccines as eligibility has included more residents.
As vaccine eligibility requirements slowly expand, more students and staff will likely have the opportunity to get vaccinated in the coming weeks. Around LSU’s campus, there are multiple pharmacies and stores that are currently providing the vaccine. The University recently announced via email that all faculty, staff, graduate assistants and student workers of higher education institutions are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
The University is hosting its first vaccination event Friday in the south endzone of Tiger Stadium. Participants should enter through Gate 22, and parking will be available in Lot 401 across South Stadium Drive.
The vaccination event will require an appointment which will be based on a first-come-first-served basis. The University will be unable to accommodate walk ups, according to the email. LSU has received limited quantities of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to the email.
Marketing junior Pirakant Suksucheep received his vaccine at a local CVS pharmacy.
“The registration process was really easy,” Suksucheep said. “The only questions they asked me were about which priority group I was in. Then, when I got to my appointment at CVS, they handed me a piece of paper to confirm my priority group and I signed it.”
Suksucheep said he was surprised at how quick and expeditious the process was.
“They [CVS] didn’t even check my ID or ask for any proof of my priority group,” he said. “I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which had awful side effects the next day.”
Mass communication professor Leonard Apcar received both of his shots at two different local Walmart stores in Baton Rouge, but said it was not an easy process.
“I had trouble,” Apcar said. “I signed up and was placed on a waiting list at a pharmacy that I still haven’t heard from. I signed up at my own doctors group and they said vaccines were arriving fast and furiously, and I never heard back from them.”
While Apcar said he didn’t experience any difficulties on the day of his vaccination appointment, he did say that people must allow about an hour of their time.
“It wasn’t in and out,” Apcar said. “Some of the signage wasn’t quite clear, they’re still running it like a pharmacy.”
On Feb. 25, Walmart announced on their website that 43 locations in 18 states would begin hosting events to help improve vaccination rates. Some local Walmarts in Baton Rouge were included in that announcement.
“For the second shot, I didn’t hear from them,” Apcar said. “About the third week, I started clicking around to see if I could make an appointment. This time, I was having trouble. It was getting more crowded. It was obvious that it was better known that Walmart was giving out shots.”
As the vaccine eligibility requirements began to expand, Louisiana citizens were registering in droves to get the two shots. This caused trouble for some people who already received their first shot but were trying to schedule an appointment to receive their second shot.
“I went to a different Walmart and made an appointment about a week ahead,” Apcar said. “Sure enough, a day or two later, they called asking ‘do you want to set up an appointment?’ and I said I just did online. They fixed the mistake and I went to receive my second shot. It was very smooth.”
In Apcar’s case, he was able to get both vaccinations without experiencing any major issues. He also avoided the negative side effects that some people experience after they get vaccinated.
“Lots of people have a tough time with the second Moderna shot, which is what I got,” Apcar said. “I got it at 10:30 a.m. and I was tired that night but I didn’t feel too badly.”