Woman’s Hospital is committed to helping keep our patients and community safe and healthy. Your best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often.
Who should get the vaccine varies from person to person. It is important for you to have a conversation with your doctor to determine if it is right for you.
To help reach more people in our community, Woman’s Hospital is partnering with The Baton Rouge Clinic to distribute COVID-19 vaccinations based on the tiers set forth by the Louisiana Department of Health. Vaccinations will take place at The Baton Rouge Clinic Immunization Clinic and will be scheduled as supplies are available.
None of the authorized and recommended COVID-19 vaccines or COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States contains the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
There are several different types of vaccines in development. All of them teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building protection against the virus that causes COVID-19. Learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity (protection against the virus that causes COVID-19) after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and still get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way.
Messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States. mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way. Instead, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work with the body’s natural defenses to safely develop immunity to disease. Learn more about how COVID-19 mRNA vaccines work.
At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. That immune response and making antibodies is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
While there are no FDA guidelines restricting patients who are pregnant, this group was not included in the COVID-19 vaccine trials to date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that all pregnant patients discuss their individual risk factors with their doctor before taking any vaccination.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to lactating individuals only if they meet criteria for the vaccine. You should talk to your doctor for advice.
The decision for patients to receive the vaccine will be on an individual basis and it will be important for you to have a conversation with your doctor to determine if it is right for you. If you have any questions, please contact your oncologist’s office.