COVID-19 Response

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CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana Administers COVID-19 Vaccine To Health Care Workers December 14, 2020

COVID-19 immunization administration

Lake Charles, Louisiana – CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana stands ready to manage and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine internally to health care workers in coming days and weeks; as the first doses were administered to frontline health care workers on Monday afternoon.

“Our COVID-19 Taskforce is evaluating and planning for the storage and distribution of a vaccine across our ministries while following the guidance of clinical experts and the frameworks distributed by the Catholic Health Association, Centers for Disease Control, and State Health agencies,” said David Benner PharmD, MS, MHA, FACHE, Vice President, Clinical Ancillary Services for the Division of Clinical Excellence at CHRISTUS Health.

CHRISTUS Health has a well-established process in place for reviewing the safety and efficacy of new drugs that is being utilized to evaluate any COVID-19 vaccines that receive emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA.

“This is hopefully the beginning of the end of this pandemic. Vaccines have been a key part of combatting and even eradicating certain diseases for generations, and we are confident the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective,” said Timothy Haman, Vice President of Medical Affairs, CHRISTUS Ochsner Health Southwestern Louisiana.

The vaccine is offered to health workers; focusing on those at greater risk of exposure first. Receiving the vaccine is not mandatory. Similar to many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine will be given in two doses: an initial injection and then a booster shot, normally 21-28 days later (depending on the vaccine administered). Research from the pharmaceutical company and CHRISTUS Health’s COVID-19 Task Force indicates minor side effects similar to the flu shot, such as low-grade fever and redness or slight pain at the injection site are possible.

“We feel this is going to be an important step to protecting our Associates, so that in turn we can protect our patients,” said Dr. Haman.