IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY)- Healthcare workers all across Acadiana are receiving the long-awaited coronavirus vaccine.
Medical staff at Iberia Medical Center say the vaccine has been a game changer.
“I spent many days coming home from work stripping in the garage and running straight to the shower, several weeks sleeping in a bed on another side of the house. So it’s a big game changer for us,” Chief of Anesthesia Dr. Carlo Alphonso said.
Dr. Alphonso was one of the first to get the vaccine at Iberia Medical Center.
He says he’s waited nearly a year for this.
“Going home, I have an elderly mother. I have a wife. I have kids. Going home I feel a lot more comfortable and less worried that I’m going to be exposing them to the risks associated with it,” Dr. Alphonso added.
Interacting with coronavirus patients often, he says contracting the virus was a scary but very real possibility for health care workers.
“I think that’s a big driving force, is protecting us as healthcare professionals but also keeping the rest of our population safe by not exposing them because the last thing we want is to bring infections to the community,” he told News Ten.
At Iberia Medical Center, staff members started receiving the vaccine on December 16.
“I believe we’ve had quite a few hundred people get our vaccine here. We have really seen no side effects whatsoever,” he said. “I was even expecting a little arm soreness afterwards but felt great. No issues, no problems, and I have not heard of anybody with any serious reactions like Bell’s palsy, any of these things that you’re hearing on Facebook.”
“All of our staff, my E.D. and C.C.U. staff who have received the vaccine, have had no side effects. A couple had arm soreness. I didn’t even have arm soreness,” Emergency Department and Critical Care Unit Manager Tanna Burleigh said.
It’s been two weeks since staff members started getting the vaccine. They say so far, so good.
“Absolutely the vaccine is the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” Burleigh said.
The healthcare workers at Iberia Medical Center will start receiving their second dose of the vaccine next week.