LA State Treasurer John Schroder Announces He Won’t Get COVID-19 Vaccine

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The COVID-19 vaccine is now on the fast track to be distributed to Louisiana citizens. However, not everyone will be rolling up their sleeves. On Tuesday afternoon, Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder went on Talk Louisiana WRKF 89.3 with host Jim Engster, in Baton Rouge. Engster asked Schroder about his experience with Covid. Schroder battled the virus in December and spent 4 days hospitalized.

He said that he sees a doctor regularly and acknowledges there are side effects to Covid and that if the vaccine is something you need to do than you should do it, but he’s more focused on his immune system. When Engster asked Schroder, point blank, if he would get the vaccine, Schroder stated that he wouldn’t.

“I’m under a doctor’s care and I’ve had long conversations with my doctor about it and she believes that the best way to attack this is with a strong immune system,” he said.

Some might question why a government leader would take such a strong stand, especially since so many have died of Covid and the Treasurer battled it himself. However, the majority of the population does seem to be on board with getting the vaccine, which in the long run will help all of us.

It’s been a year of fear, lockdowns, anxiety and hope as the citizens of Louisiana have watched their own battle a pandemic that seemed to have no end in sight. It was only recently, with the introduction of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccine, that we have finally begun to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Tuesday, Governor Edwards announced expanded eligibility requirements for the coronavirus vaccine. The new requirements include those who are 16 years of age or over and have health conditions such as asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, Down Syndrome, high blood pressure, and sickle cell disease. Smokers and those who are considered overweight and obese are also included on the list.

Edwards said that the state receiving regular shipments of the vaccine and a slack in vaccination appointments, as well as the need to avoid a new surge, is the reason for the eligibility expansion. The conditions listed in the requirement are in direct correlation to the list of conditions that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has that increases the likelihood of a COVID infection leading to hospitalization or death.

Local citizens were eager to schedule their appointments- New Orleans Twitter lit up with the excitement at the possibility of being vaccinated and many of those who qualified were able to get appointments for as soon as Tuesday afternoon.  

At a press conference, Edwards expressed his determination to get people vaccinated.

“Our goal is not to have any vaccine sitting on the shelf any longer than is absolutely necessary,” he said. “The more people who get vaccinated, and the faster this happens, the more likely we’ll return to normal.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, 17.3% of Louisiana residents had received one vaccine dose with 9.9% completely vaccinated. More people have been vaccinated in the state of Louisiana than have tested positive for Covid-19 and the state expects to receive a shipment of 100,000 doses of the vaccine next week. 

The expansion of the eligibility requirements fell on the one-year anniversary of the first diagnosis of coronavirus in Louisiana.  Moments of silence and prayer amongst local government and healthcare workers took place- a recognition was meant to honor those we’ve lost to the disease, as well as those who continue to battle it. Local officials urged the public to not let their guard down and continue the practices that have been in place in the past year, that were designed to protect people from acquiring the disease. 

In the past year, the Coronavirus has killed 9,000 people in the state of Louisiana, 769 of those deaths in Orleans Parish and 857 of them in Jefferson Parish. According to, it’s believed that at least one-tenth of the state’s population has been affected by the virus.

The sooner the state gets its people vaccinated, the sooner we can go back to enjoying the life that we left behind a year ago. For now, it seems as if we are finally on the right track.

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