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St. Francis Medical Center starts vaccinating frontline workers against COVID-19



MONROE, La.– The covid-19 vaccination officially started this morning at St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe. Health officials say they are excited about front line workers getting the vaccine this week as they have made a big sacrifice over the past year. Many have been exposed to covid and seen patients struggle from the effects of the pandemic. Officials believe the vaccine will be a game-changer for the state and could help end the pandemic by the mid-summer or end of next year. They encourage others to take the vaccine once it’s available.

“At this point I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing my patients going through what they are going through. I’m tired of seeing family and friends going through what they are going through, as far as coronavirus. So if it means I need to get a vaccine to help and to take another step forward to protect my family and my people, then that’s what I’m going to do,” said Nina Collins, RN in the ICU at St. Francis.

“We have a task force that has looked at the safety, the ethicality of the vaccine. We feel it to be very safe, very positive, and hopeful for the community,” said John Bruchhaus, Co-director of ICU at St. Francis.

Ochsner LSU Health Monroe Medical Center started vaccinating their health care workers Tuesday evening and have continued throughout the week. The Chief Medical Officer says those who have been vaccinated so far have not had any major symptoms and seem to be in good health. Louisiana has seen three surges of positive covid-19 cases, officials say the first step to breaking those surges is having the vaccine available.

“I see covid patients on a daily basis, some of which have not had great outcomes and some of which had. We are trying to stand forward as a medical community and to set an example for our patients to follow,” said Michael O’Neal, Chief Medical Officer at Ochsner LSU Health Monroe Medical Center.