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FDA expands eligibility for second booster shot for older and immunocompromised individuals

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Following the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization, people 50 years old and above and people 12 years old and above with moderate or severe immunosuppression are now eligible for a second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The second booster dose should be given at least 4 months after administration of one’s first booster dose.

Moderately and severely immunocompromised individuals between the ages of 12 and 17 may receive a second booster of the Pfizer vaccine, while people 18 and older may receive either Pfizer or Moderna. This allows immunocompromised individuals to now receive a fifth total dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC data continue to show the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, to protect against severe outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. During the recent Omicron surge, boosted individuals were 7 times less likely to be hospitalized and 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated.

“We welcome the news that many more Louisianans who may be at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 now have more options to protect themselves,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “We do not know what the future holds and continue to monitor circulating variants, but thankfully, our COVID-19 trends are better and we have more tools at our disposal than ever before, and that includes vaccines and boosters.”

In addition, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).

LDH has reviewed the latest FDA guidance and alerted all vaccine providers in the state that this guidance is effective immediately.

For questions regarding COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, vaccines, or other related issues, call the COVID-19 Support Hotline at 855-453-0774. For a list of locations near you, visit ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine or text your ZIP code to GETVAX (438829) in English or VACUNA (822862) in Spanish.

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