What does the COVID vaccine do? Does it prevent me from getting COVID?
That is the intent. Instead of traditional vaccines, which may use the virus itself, the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will use a protein on the outside of the virus. This means the vaccine can’t cause COVID-19 in a person, because it’s not using the virus that causes the disease. This stimulates your body’s immune system to mount a response as if it were a true infection, minimizing your risk of re-infection or disease should you encounter the same virus later.
How many shots are required?
The COVID-19 vaccine will require one dose or two, depending on which vaccine you receive.
I heard some of the vaccine trials were canceled – does that mean they’re not safe?
No COVID-19 vaccine trial has been canceled. Two trials were paused, which is normal for all clinical trials to take a closer look at symptoms participants develop to see if there are possible side effects. Sometimes the symptoms have nothing to do with the actual product. This process is in place to ensure that any product brought to the public is as safe as possible. Both trials that were paused were resumed once an independent safety monitoring board deemed the side effects not related to the vaccine.
How much will the vaccine cost?
There will be no direct cost to patients or employees at this time.
If I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes. There is not enough information currently available to say how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. In order to stop this pandemic, we need to use every tool available which includes the immunization, social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.
Does Ochsner fully endorse the COVID vaccine and suggest all employees and patients receive the vaccine?
Ochsner Health fully supports and highly encourages widespread vaccination under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for all employees and our patients. Ochsner will only recommend and administer vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has certified as safe and effective for all patients and employees, including our most vulnerable populations. Ochsner’s contributions to the vaccine trials have helped illustrate their safety to the FDA. Large-scale vaccination of our community is the best way to keep everyone safe and to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why should I get the vaccine?
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Just as we are wearing masks and social distancing, getting the vaccine will help us prevent the spread of the virus and reduce your chances of getting it. The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of forgoing immunization.