Effective immediately, booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are available to adults at increased risk, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you are 6 months out from your two-dose Pfizer series, you are now eligible to receive a booster shot if you are:
- Age 65 or older
- Age 18 or older and have one of many underlying medical conditions
- Age 18 or older and live or work in a setting that places you at risk of being exposed to COVID
As always, LDH recommends you discuss your individual situation and risk/benefit analysis with your doctor or medical practitioner.
"We welcome and adopt here in Louisiana the new FDA and CDC guidance making booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine available to adults at increased risk," said Dr. Joseph Kanter, State Health Officer. "The deliberations by both federal health agencies this past week reaffirmed that the vaccines are safe and effective, and they are everyone's best protection against COVID hospitalization and death. That's why our number one priority remains helping more Louisianans get their first shots."
CDC and LDH will evaluate with similar urgency available data in the coming weeks to swiftly make additional recommendations for other populations or people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the vaccination program and will benefit from additional protection. With the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and risk of community transmission remaining elevated, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.
This new guidance is effective immediately. Providers may begin administering booster shots as soon as they are able to operationalize the guidance, and we appreciate residents' patience and ask that they check first with their local provider before 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.
CDC and LDH will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to ensure appropriate recommendations to keep the public safe.