Guard, LDH provide vaccinations on Louisiana Tech campus


Last week, the Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) and Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) delivered COVID-19 vaccinations to 37 area residents during a vaccination clinic at Louisiana Tech University’s Ropp Center.

The vaccination clinic will continue to be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the fall. Free vaccinations and testing (from 8 am. to 5 p.m. each weekday) will be offered at the location for students, faculty, staff at Tech as well as members of the Lincoln Parish community.

“In the first day of giving vaccinations on campus, where students were eligible for the state’s Shot for $100 campaign, we had 32 students get their first vaccinations,” said Tonya Oaks Smith, Tech’s executive director for University Communications and Marketing. “That number bodes well as the campaign continues throughout the Fall Quarter, and we look forward to more vaccinations as we have more students back on campus.”

As a member of the University of Louisiana System (ULS), Louisiana Tech will add the coronavirus vaccination to its list of required vaccines. Students must comply with the LDH requirements before they are able to register for the winter quarter.

The Louisiana Department of Health has added the COVID-19 vaccination to its list of required vaccinations for college students. Other required vaccinations include those for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR); Tetanus and Diptheria (Td); and Meningitis. For each of these required immunizations, Louisiana law allows that students can do one of three things:

— Take the vaccination as recommended by physicians;
— Submit a written statement from a physician stating that the procedure is contraindicated for medical reasons, or
— Submit a written dissent from the student or the student’s parent or guardian, depending on the student’s age.

“The Louisiana law allowing for one of these three options applies to the COVID-19 vaccination as well,” Smith said. “We encourage students to consult with their health- care providers to ensure they are well-informed on the best way to ensure their health and safety as they enter college.”

Louisiana Tech University is offering the Get Your Shot to Win Big student vaccination incentive program (https://www.latech.edu/get-your-shot-to-win-big/) to complement the state’s Shot for $100 campaign (https://shotfor100.com).

“Prize drawings from among students who have registered with the University have been held since early August,” Smith said. “Thus far, we’ve had more than 3,000 students – those who have chosen to protect themselves and their communities by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine – register to win tuition and fees, iPads, meal plans, and other prizes.”

This fall, Louisiana Tech will offer classes in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats depending on the size and type of class. If a student wishes to take only online classes, they simply have to register for online courses. However, all courses will not be offered in an online format.

Smith said professors will work with students who are required to quarantine to ensure they are able to continue their academic progress during that time. The university is also requiring masks in accordance with the state’s mask mandate.

The state does not currently have distancing requirements, but Louisiana Tech is encouraging students, faculty, and staff to engage in the following behaviors to help ensure the health and safety of our campus community:

— Wearing masks indoors
— Washing hands regularly
— Using proper sneeze and cough practices
— Helping maintain clean academic and office areas
— Monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19

“We certainly encourage our students to get their COVID-19 vaccinations so that our campus community can enjoy as normal a school year as possible – one complete with face-to-face classes and extracurricular and co-curricular activities,” Smith said. “We encourage our students to seek the advice of a health-care professional when considering the COVID-19 vaccination. Our state medical professionals believe that vaccinations – along with mask wearing – can help us stay safe and healthy and return to normal.”

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