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LDH recommends COVID-19 boosters for everyone 18 and older ahead of holiday season

Protect yourself and your loved ones before gathering to celebrate
(WAFB)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 1:54 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 1:55 PM CST
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The following information is from the Louisiana Department of Health:

BATON ROUGE, La. - In light of increasing cases in other parts of the country and the opportunity for families to increase their protection ahead of the holidays, LDH now recommends COVID-19 booster shots for all fully-vaccinated Louisianans ages 18 and older. A person is considered fully vaccinated if they have received two doses of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“By working together, we have made significant progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our state, which is why as we head into the holiday season it is critical that Louisianans get a booster shot as soon as they become eligible in order to protect themselves and their loved ones against the possibility of another surge,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “The vaccines are widely available, safe and offer the most effective protection we have against this virus. We want everyone to spend time with their family and friends and to do so as safely as possible.”

Effective immediately, the following individuals are now eligible and recommended to receive a booster dose:

  • Anyone 18 and older who completed their two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series 6 or more months ago
  • Anyone 18 and older who received their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine 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. Federal guidelines currently allow for this type of mix and match dosing for boosters.

Available data right now show that all three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself, reduce the spread of the virus and help prevent new variants from emerging.

Boosters are added protection against COVID. The top priority remains many more of us getting our first shot, because that is how we ultimately put this pandemic behind us. The Louisiana Department of Health strongly recommends that everyone who is eligible get their first shot of the COVID vaccine if they have not done so already.

“While our COVID-19 trends are much better than they have been, the virus remains active statewide and that means there is still risk involved when people gather together. We experienced our third surge after last year’s holiday season and we are seeing cases surging across the country as we head into Thanksgiving. With the winter holidays approaching again, we want families to have the opportunity for maximum protection as they celebrate together,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter.

Those who have 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 call Louisiana’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774, call 211 or go to covidvaccine.la.gov.

Incentives are also still available. The Shot For 100 incentive is available for the rest of November. 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.

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