BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards has received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

His vaccination came Tuesday, a day after he expanded access to the shots to include Louisiana government officials involved in pandemic response work. The 54-year-old Democrat got his Pfizer shot along with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and several other state officials who are newly eligible under Louisiana’s latest criteria.

Edwards, meanwhile, announced Tuesday that he’s maintaining Louisiana’s current coronavirus restrictions and statewide mask mandate through March 3. Otherwise, the rules would have expired Wednesday. Edwards cited concerns about the more contagious U.K. variant of the virus spreading in Louisiana for his refusal to loosen the rules.

(Story written by Melinda Deslatte/AP)

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