Department of Health suggests COVID booster shots for adults

Published 1:01 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

In light of increasing cases in other parts of the country and the opportunity for families to increase their protection ahead of the holidays, the Louisiana Department of Health now recommends COVID-19 booster shots for all fully vaccinated Louisianians 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,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “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 six 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,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “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.”

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 visit online at covidvaccine.la.gov.