Twenty-five COVID-19 vaccines given locally

By Jalal Joudeh, DQMH Chief of Staff

Last wednesday, DeQuincy Memorial Hospital received 25 doses of Pfizer-Biontech covid 19 vaccine from the Louisiana Department of Health as part of vaccinating the frontline health care workers.

On Thursday Dec. 17, the vaccine adminstration took place in the hospital. All 25 doses were given to hospital employees. At the present time, the Covid-19 vaccination is voluntary and authorized by each person receiving the vaccine.

Four physicians including myself, Hospital administrator/CEO, and director of nurses agreed and received the vaccine, as well as other personnel from nursing, dietary, housekeeping, maintenance, business office, my radiology and respiratory services. The process went very well without any acute side effects or adverse reactions.

All 25 people vaccinated this time will receive a second dose of the same Pfizer -Biontech vaccine in three weeks. We are hoping to get another shipment of the vaccine from LDOH to vaccinate more frontline health care workers in our hospital.

The FDA and the CDC approved the Pfizer-Biontech Covid 19 vaccine last week and Moderna vaccine this week as Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), all in an effort to battle this pandemic. The purpose is to vaccinate as many people as possible, hopefully more than or close to 70% of the population, to develop herd immunity and cease the spread of the virus.

We are hoping more people will accept and receive the vaccine when it is offered for the public. We encourage people to discuss the vaccination’s benefits and risks with their primary care physicians as early as possible. The vaccine is going to be available and in phases as determined by the federal and state authorities.

At present time, regardless of the vaccination status of the individual, everyone of us needs and must keep practicing social/physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings in private or public and wearing masks as well as washing hands frequently.

All of us need to follow the federal and state recommendation including avoiding or limiting travel and large gatherings during the holiday. Be safe. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. God Bless.