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COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Opelousas General Health System continues to administer initial Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, we are administering supplemental & booster doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to individuals who meet the following criteria:

SUPPLEMENTAL
  • Effective August 13, 2021, CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after the completion of the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.
BOOSTER (6 MONTHS AFTER LAST PFIZER VACCINE)
  • People aged 65 years and older and adults 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, and can also increase for adults of any age with underlying medical conditions.
  • Residents aged 18 years and older of long-term care settings should get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Because residents in long-term care settings live closely together in group settings and are often older adults with underlying medical conditions, they are at increased risk of infection and severe illness from COVID-19.
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18–49 years who have underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. However, that risk is likely not as high as it would be for adults aged 50 years and older who have underlying medical conditions. People aged 18–49 years who have underlying medical conditions may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.
  • People aged 18–64 years at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks. Adults aged 18–64 years who work or reside in certain settings (e.g., health care, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters) may be at increased risk of being exposed to COVID-19, which could be spreading where they work or reside. Since that risk can vary across settings and based on how much COVID-19 is spreading in a community, people aged 18–64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may get a booster shot after considering their individual risks and benefits. This recommendation may change in the future as more data become available.

The following are OGHS Locations administering initial, supplemental and booster Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines:

  • WellSmart Health Pharmacy of Opelousas
    • OGHS Main Campus, 539 East Prudhomme Street, Opelousas, LA 70570
    • 337-943-7102
    • Tuesday & Wednesday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., appointment only, please use this link to schedule: https://bookoghs.timetap.com
  • WellSmart Health of Carencro
    • 109 Wallace Broussard, Suite 300, Carencro, LA 70520
    • 337-896-9355
    • Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., call for appointment
  • WellSmart Health of LSUE
    • 2048 Johnson Hwy, Acadian Center Room 108, Eunice, LA 70525
    • 337-678-4749
    • Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., call for appointment

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

This COVID-19 Vaccine resource page was developed to help you find information regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine. We have provided information that may be helpful to you from the websites of the Centers for Disease Control, the Louisiana Department of Health and Pfizer, one of the vaccine manufacturers. If you need medical advice, please contact your primary healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How are vaccines developed and tested?

  • The most commonly used vaccines have been around for decades, with millions of people receiving them safely every year. As with all medicines, every vaccine must go through extensive and rigorous testing to ensure it is safe before it can be introduced in a country. An experimental vaccine is first tested in animals to evaluate its safety and potential to prevent disease. It is then tested in human clinical trials in three phases.
    • Phase 1
      • The vaccine is given to a small number of volunteers to assess its safety, confirm it generates an immune response, and determine the right dosage.
    • Phase 2
      • The vaccine is usually administered to hundreds of volunteers, who are closely monitored for any side effects, to further assess its ability to generate an immune response. Data is also collected whenever possible on disease outcomes, but usually not in large enough numbers to have a clear picture of the effect of the vaccine on disease. Participants in this phase have the same characteristics (such as age and sex) as the people for whom the vaccine is intended. Some volunteers receive the vaccine and others receive a placebo, which allows comparisons to be made and conclusions to be drawn.
    • Phase 3
      • The vaccine is given to thousands of volunteers. Half receive the investigational vaccine and the others receive a placebo, similar to phase 2. Data from both groups is carefully compared to see if the vaccine is safe and effective against the disease it is designed to protect against.

What are the side effects of the vaccine?

  • Details on the vaccines and their safety data have not been presented to the general public yet, but they will be once they receive Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) from FDA. It is anticipated that you may experience similar side effects of the flu vaccine, which are:
    • Sore arm at the injection site
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Joint Pain
    • Muscle Aches

Why is it important to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Getting the vaccine has several benefits. The most important one being that we can safely establish herd immunity, so the population at large can be protected from the virus if a threshold of vaccination is reached. It’s a tall order, as experts estimate that roughly 70% of people in the U.S. (200 million) need to be vaccinated to reach this level of protection for COVID-19 specifically. This is especially important for vulnerable, high-risk groups, like the elderly and immunocompromised. You have the power to make a difference. Every person who gets vaccinated brings us closer to getting our lives back to normal.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine infect me with COVID-19?

  • No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever, but these symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.

Will the COVID-19 vaccines cause me to test positive on COVID-19 viral tests?

  • Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States won’t cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

If I’ve already gotten sick with COVID-19, do I still need to take the COVID-19 vaccine?

  • Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.

At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.

We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

For more frequently asked questions, visit:

Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine

We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine is available in the United States. While these vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19

  • COVID-19 vaccines are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
  • Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Experts continue to conduct more studies about the effect of COVID-19 vaccination on severity of illness from COVID-19, as well as its ability to keep people from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection

  • COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
  • Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorized or approved for use. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine for use under what is known as an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Watch a video on what an EUA is.
  • Getting COVID-19 may offer some natural protection, known as immunity. But experts don’t know how long this protection lasts, and the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 far outweighs any benefits of natural immunity. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you by creating an antibody response without having to experience sickness.
  • Both natural immunity and immunity produced by a vaccine are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about, and CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic

  • Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough. Vaccines will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
  • The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.
  • Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. As experts learn more about how COVID-19 vaccination may help reduce spread of the disease in communities, CDC will continue to update the recommendations to protect communities using the latest science.

EAU Fact Sheet for Recipients

Post Vaccine Considerations for Healthcare Personnel

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/post-vaccine-considerations-healthcare-personnel.html

What to expect after getting a covid-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Ask your healthcare provider about getting started with v-safe:

  • Use your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You’ll also get reminders if you need a second dose. To learn more about v-safe, visit www.cdc.gov/vsafe

Common side effects:

On the arm where you got the shot:

  • Pain
  • Swelling

Throughout the rest of your body:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Helpful tips:

If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot:

  • Apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area.
  • Use or exercise your arm.

To reduce discomfort from fever:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Dress lightly

When to call the doctor:

In most cases, discomfort from fever or pain is normal. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider:

  • If the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
  • If your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days

Remember:

  • Side effects may feel like flu and even affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.
  • With most COVID-19 vaccines, you will need 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after the first one, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.
  • It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot
  • It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

References: