Frontline health workers receive COVID-19 vaccine in Lafayette

Frontline health workers receive COVID-19 vaccine in Lafayette
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Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 15, 2020

LAFAYETTE PARISH — Pfizer's COVID vaccine is now in Acadiana and giving healthcare leaders some hope in the fight against COVID-19. The first few doses were given to healthcare workers at Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center Tuesday afternoon. It arrived in the morning at 8 and by noon, some of the staff were already being vaccinated.

A doctor KATC spoke with says the process was simple and no different than getting a flu shot. She says the shot is a glimmer of hope in what's been a tough year.

"The buzz and excitement in the room today for the first vaccination was palpable," Dr. Julie Broussard with Ochsner Lafayette General said."Everyone was waiting for that new birth. It was something new for us. First time since March we've all felt excited about something with Covid."

She says getting vaccinated is a step towards healing and somewhat a step towards normalcy.

"Once we vaccinate our healthcare workers, we no longer have the problem of our own healthcare workers being out on quarantine and not being able to provide," Broussard said. "So we're excited to have our workforce back and healthy so we can take care of all the patients that we need, not just COVID patients."

Broussard is one of 285 healthcare workers getting the first doses of the vaccine. Those who work closest with COVID-19 patients are getting the shots first and the vaccination process for healthcare workers will continue through January.

"This is the first time I think a lot of us felt that we have hope," Rodney Good, system director of pharmacy for Ochsner Lafayette Regional said. "We can do something to change the course of the pandemic."

For those in the public who are skeptical about the vaccine, Dr. Broussard has a message.

"My recommendation is as soon as you're offered the vaccine , take it while you can get it" Broussard said. " If you're not in a high risk category and you're able to stay home and it doesn't bother you to do that then by all means you can wait till the rest of us have been vaccinated. We're proud to go first and tell everyone it's going to be okay."

A second shot is required 21 days after getting the first vaccine.

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