The first Pfizer COVID vaccines arrived in Louisiana Sunday and many will be administered to frontline healthcare workers across the state Monday.

Ochsner received 9,375 of the first wave of doses. Pharmacy Director Heather Maturin said the vials must be kept very cold to remain effective, so they’re being kept in deep freezers across the state until the time comes to move them to a facility for vaccinations. She said they’ve had to build a tightly coordinated schedule of vaccination so that no dose is wasted, or left out of the deep freezer for long.

“Each vial contains enough for five doses so we need to have five patients ready to go to be ready to vaccinate so that we do not waste a single drop of this precious gold,” said Maturin.

The state will be receiving 39,000 doses in total for this first week. Another roughly 40,000 Pfizer doses are expected to arrive next week.

Maturin said workers in COVID units will be the first to get vaccinated this week. She anticipated this allocation will allow them to vaccinate 88 percent of their front line COVID unit workers.

The Orleans/Jefferson campus will receive over 5,000 of the doses, with Lafayette and Shreveport getting 1,300 and 3,000 respectively.

Maturin said when these vaccines arrive on-site to be administered they will be frozen solid at negative 94 degrees. She says personnel have had to train extensively on how to handle it.


Willis Knighton is expecting to get a shipment of the vaccines by 10:30 this morning.


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