Nearly 10,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine arrived in Louisiana on Monday, December 14th. Nearly half were delivered to the Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Bayou regions. This first round of vaccines is strictly for the frontline workers in the healthcare system that are treating people with the virus. According to Louisiana Governor John Bell, the state is supposed to receive nearly 40,000 more doses the following week. Louisiana is projected to receive a total of 80,000 vials of the vaccine before the end of the year. He believes that “This is the beginning of the end, we are not at the end yet.” He stated that just having the vaccine will not be the end of this pandemic, there is going to need to be a majority of people willing to be vaccinated. The second dose is to be administered one month after the first dose. Therefore, seeing the long-term results might take some time.
The Moderna vaccine is set to be released in a week or so, and this round of vaccines will be given to long term care residents and staff. Edwards believes it will be at least 6 months before the general public will have full access to the virus. He hopes with the success of these first few rounds of vaccinations, the public will become less wary of it and more willing to get vaccinated. With the thousands of boxes of tiny frozen vials arriving at hospitals around the nation and world, it is a symbol of hope to all as the nation’s death toll rises to 304,000 the week before Christmas. The vaccinations happening across the world will also allow more and more families to be able to spend the holidays together.
The first Louisiana resident who received the vaccine was Macy Aucoin, an ICU nurse who works at Ochsner Medical center. “I feel like I will always remember it,” she said in an interview with WDSU. She urged people to still take precautions and to get the vaccine whenever it becomes available to them. With more and more frontline workers getting the first dose of this two-part vaccine surrounded by some speculation, two doctors took to twitter to share their reasons why. Dr. Avegno, a New Orleans ER doctor and Dr. Kanter, the interim assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health, both shared pictures and videos of their vaccination process. Dr. Kanter saying he took it for his 20-month-old daughter, “I want her to be free to hug and play. I did it for her!” his tweet said.