LAFAYETTE — Health officials are saying the COVID vaccine will not be ready for the general public until February or March, while the first dose of the two-part vaccination will be given to health care workers on the front lines.
"Health care workers, if they continue to get sick, then we don't have even a place for people with an infection and every other health need to go to," Amanda Logue, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Ochsner Lafayette General explained Friday.
That decision was made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) following recommendations from several health committees including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
"The CDC then takes that recommendation, based on the supply they have from the manufacturer and authorization from the FDA, and applies that to the priority of people in the community that can get it" Logue said.
In a news conference held Friday via Zoom, Ochsner Hospital officials said they are expecting to receive 9,375 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by Monday and will be distributing those across the state. Lafayette General Health will receive 2,975. The FDA made a final approval for the vaccination Friday evening.
In phase 1A, the vaccine will be administered to those working in ERs, ICUs, urgent cares, and COVID units.
"The CDC will then walk into the next phase, then the next phase," Logue added. "And it will likely go according to the data that we have, regarding the high risk age groups, high risk patience that have hyper tension, diabetes, obesity."
Doctors at Oschner say they are looking forward to the arrival.
"Look at this as a wonderful tool, this is amazing time in our lives to have a tool like this, being able to change the pandemic," Rodney Good, Regional Director of Pharmacy said.
Good also said they are expecting a second shipment of the vaccine one week later.
Our Lady of Lourdes will also receive the vaccination Monday. A hospital official said they will receive a shipment of 1,075 doses.