About a dozen people gathered in the parking lot of the Sulphur Senior Center Tuesday to gather information about COVID-19 vaccines from June McBride, RN, Infection Prevention Coordinator with West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital.
Attendees sat in cars for the presentation, which was made via a microphine and sound system due to social distancing protocol.
McBride had a stuffed unicorn, sporting a mask and hand santizer, attached to her belt. She said “Covidicorn” is a visual reminder of the safety measures people must take, even after they’ve had the vaccine.
McBride spoke briefly about how the vaccine, (taken in two doses either three or weeks apart depending on the brand) works and what side effects are possible.
The vaccine acts as an “instructional manual” that shows the immune system how to respond to the coronavirus. The vaccines do not contain any virus.
Side effects from the first dose can include soreness in the arm or a slight fever. McBride said side effects are a bit stronger after the second dose and can include those experienced with the first dose as well as fatigue, chills, body aches, or feeling sick for a few days. “But the side effects aren’t as bad as the virus itself,” she said.
McBride said seniors should consult with their primary physician before getting the vaccine to make sure there is nothing in their medical history, like allergies, indicating the vaccine would be harmful to them.
One of the seniors in attendance expressed frustration that he was unable to find a site giving the vaccine.
McBride explained that local providers were at the mercy of the state, which is at the mercy of the federal government, with regard to vaccine supplies. She said it may take some time for everyone who wants a vaccine to get one.
At this time, no vaccine distribution site is accepting walk-ins. Residents must register with a distributor to be placed on a waiting list. She said those who receive a vaccine should contact any other waiting lists where they registered and be removed to open up a slot for others.
Another senior urged everyone to wear their masks. She said her brother-in-law died from the virus the previous day, after spending seven days in a local hospital.
Cynthia Beverly, senior center coordinator, said that seniors with questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines can contact her via the Senior Center’s Facebook page or by calling the center at 527-4574 and she will direct their questions to someone who can help.
VACCINE SITES IN CALCASIEU AND CAMERON PARISHES
Most vaccine providers require online registration. If no website call the site.
Updated providers in Calcasieu and Cameron parishes include:
Sulphur — Brookshire Brothers on Ruth Street, www.brookshirebrothers.com/store-location/store-47;
Walgreens on Beglis Parkway, www,walgreens.com/covid19vac.
DeQuincy — Brookshire Brothers on West 4th Street, www.brookshirebrothers.com/store-location/store-31.
Lake Charles — Alberstson’s on Ryan Street, www.mhealthsystem.com/Albertsons0717; Alberstson’s on Country Club Road, www.mhealthsystem.com/Albertsons2798; Walgreens on Gertsner Memorial, www.walgreens.com/covid19vac; Walgreens on Ryan St., www,walgreens.com/covid19vac; Boudreaux’s New Drug Store on Prien Lake Road, covidlakecharles.com; and Hobgood Pharmacy, Country Club Road, www.hobgood.net.
Moss Bluff — Walgreens on N. Highway 171, www.walgreens.com/covid19vac.
Cameron — South Cameron Hospital, W. Creole Highway, no website, 337-542-4111.