Big news, Louisiana: The CDC has approved booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines. Effective immediately, boosters are available to certain populations.
COVID-19 booster shots of the Moderna vaccine are available in Louisiana in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The approval expands the availability of booster shots in Louisiana, as the FDA and CDC approved booster shots of the Pfizer COVID-10 vaccine earlier this year.
In addition, a COVID-19 booster is recommended for everyone 18 years old and above who received the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson COVID-19) vaccine.
This new guidance is effective immediately.
Booster shots provide additional protection against COVID-19 and help to strengthen protection against severe disease in populations at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 or complications from severe illness.
For individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot at 6 months or more after their initial series:
• Age 65 or older
• Age 18 or older and have one of many underlying medical conditions that may increase their risk for a severe COVID infection
• Age 18 or older and live or work in a setting that places them at risk of being exposed to COVID, including long-term care settings
• For those who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
Available data right now shows that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even against the widely circulating, highly transmissible Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.
“We welcome and adopt the new guidance from CDC that makes COVID-19 vaccine booster shots available to many more Louisianans at high risk of COVID-19 exposure and severe outcomes,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “That said, we know we will not boost our way out of this pandemic. Every day more people decide to go sleeves up, but too many Louisianans remain unvaccinated, leaving themselves and their loved ones vulnerable as we go into the holiday season.”
Providers may begin administering booster shots as soon as they are able to operationalize the guidance. Residents are encouraged to check with their local provider prior to showing up for a booster appointment. Providers may accept verbal self-representation of eligible patients and do not need additional proof of verification. Patients who are unsure of their eligibility or who have questions should talk with their healthcare provider.
Individuals with questions about whether a COVID-19 vaccine booster is right for them are encouraged to speak with a medical professional. For additional help, individuals can contact Louisiana’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774.
Incentives are also still available. The Shot For 100 incentive is available for the rest of October. Anyone who hasn’t gone Sleeves Up can still get their free, safe, and effective vaccine along with a $100 Visa debit card.
*College students may receive the debit card for either first or second doses; the rest of the eligible population may receive the Visa debit card on the first dose.