FAQ: Vaccine being administered in Louisiana

Ochsner holds press conference after administering first COVID-19 vaccines to frontline workers
Ochsner holds press conference after administering first COVID-19 vaccines to frontline workers(WAFB)
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 2:27 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2020 at 2:28 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Louisiana (WAFB) - A new chapter in the saga of the COVID-19 pandemic is focused on hope being administered in the form of a vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine - the first to be approved by the FDA - is being administered Monday, December 14 by the Ochsner Health System to frontline workers.

Ochsner Health System will get 9,300 doses in its initial allotment.

“This is huge. I can’t even express to you what a big deal this is. We’ve seen a lot of people who’ve been sick. People who’ve died,’' said Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, Ochsner’s Medical Director of Infection and Control. “Unfortunately our healthcare workers get sick, too. We’ve been at their bedside. I’d love to make sure everyone who can get their vaccine as soon as you can get it, please do so. I barely felt it go into my arm today. It works. We know it works well. The efficacy is over 95 percent. The side effects are mild.’'

In total, Louisiana will receive 80,000 doses before the end of the year.

Although the vaccine is a big step forward, Governor John Bel Edwards warns that the pandemic is still very much ongoing.

“This is the beginning of the end,” he said during a press conference. “We are not at the end yet, but it is such a blessing to have vaccine in the state of Louisiana...The vaccine by itself is not going to end the pandemic, we have to have vaccinations.”

Pfizer Vaccine

Q: When did the FDA approve the vaccine?

A: It was approved for emergency use on December 11, 2020. Technically, this vaccine is only approved for emergency use. Roughly 20,000 people received the vaccination during clinical trials.

Q: Is there an age restriction?

A: Yes. The vaccine is only approved for individuals ages 16 and over.

Q: How does it work?

A: This vaccine is administered as an injection into the muscle and requires two doses, three weeks apart. When you get your first dose, you will get a vaccination card to show you when to return for your second dose. You will need to bring your card when you return for your second dose.

Q: Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

A: No, the vaccine does not contain SARS-CoV-2 and cannot give you COVID-19.

Q: What are the possible side effects?

A: According to the FDA, the most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. The side effects could last for several days. More people reported side effects with the second dose than the first dose. There is a remote chance that the vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction, which would typically occur within a few minutes to one hour after the injection.

Q: What are the signs of a severe allergic reaction?

A: Difficulty breathing, swelling of your face and throat, a fast heartbeat, a bad rash all over your body, and dizziness and weakness.

Q: Can a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding get the vaccine?

A: You should discuss this with your regular healthcare provider.

Q: Where will my vaccination information be recorded?

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), your information could be included in your state/local jurisdiction’s Immunization Information System (IIS) or other designated system. This will ensure that you receive the same vaccine when you return for the second dose. For more information about IIS, CLICK HERE.

Moderna Vaccine

The FDA could also consider a second vaccine made by Moderna within a matter of days that would be sent to the most vulnerable staff and patients in nursing homes.

We will update this story with new information relative to the vaccine as it becomes available. Bookmark this page and check back frequently.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.