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CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Alexandria gives its first COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 5:52 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Pfizer sent out nearly three million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country and many health care workers were ready to get the shot.

Louisiana is expected to receive 39,000 vials of the vaccination in the next week and over 40,000 by the end of the month.

A delivery truck brought 375 vials to CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital to start giving out to their health care workers. Dr. James Knoepp, with the Intensive Care Unit, was the first to receive the vaccination at Cabrini Hospital.

“I think it was important for physicians to show up because over the last two weeks, I’ve had nurses and some doctors ask me are you going to take the vaccine? And my answer is always absolutely,” said Dr. Knoepp.

Dr. Knoepp was one of the 30 to 40 health care workers in Alexandria that was expected to receive their first of two COVID-19 shots on the first day. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses exactly 21 days apart and has proven to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infection.

Dr. Knoepp said, “I feel relieved because I know my chances of getting COVID-19 are diminished now and in turn, I won’t give it to my family, patients or colleagues.”

Dr. Jose Zapatero, the chief medical officer at Christus Cabrini Hospital, says he hopes that not only the public but other health care workers that were hesitant to take the vaccine feel more comfortable after seeing medical experts get the shot.

“We are getting more hesitancy from some of the nurses and some of the other departments who probably don’t have as much of a science background. Seeing that the doctors are doing this will hopefully make everyone more comfortable,” said Dr. Zapartero.

The Pfizer vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the FDA and will make a decision on whether to move forward with the second COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna.

RELATED: President of CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Health system discusses COVID-19 vaccine

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