COVID-19 Vaccination Information
This information is shared with you at the request of the Louisiana Department of Health.
For more information, visit the LDH COVID-19 Vaccine Information website.
Why are the vaccines so important?
COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 10,000 Louisianans have died from COVID since 2020 — that’s more than the number of deaths caused by accidents, stroke, and diabetes combined in Louisiana in 2017. The vaccines against this virus are a critical tool in ultimately ending the pandemic and getting our lives back to normal.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Kids
The Louisiana Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend all children ages 5 and older be vaccinated against COVID-19.
For more information about available vaccines, locations where you can take your kids to get their vaccine, and more frequently asked questions, visit the COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids website, located here.
Third Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
Following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s new recommendation, the Louisiana Department of Health is making third doses available for people whose immune systems are compromised moderately to severely and are fully vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC now recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after their second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.
Patients may self-attest to their condition by completing and signing this form https://ldh.la.gov/assets/oph/Center-CP/HANs/HANS21-58Attachment-3rdDoseAttestationForm.pdf. [r20.rs6.net] LDH also has asked vaccine providers to have these forms available for patients to complete.
Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. Read CDC’s full statement: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html [r20.rs6.net]
What You Need to Know:
- People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are more at risk of serious, prolonged illness.
- People who have compromised immune systems may benefit from an additional dose to make sure they have enough protection against COVID-19.
- CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after their initial two doses.
Who Needs an Additional COVID-19 Vaccine?
Currently, CDC is recommending that moderately to severely immunocompromised people receive an additional dose. This includes people who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection.
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.
- Other conditions which cause moderate or severe immunosuppression similar to the above conditions.
- People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.
Prescription or notation from a physician or other prescriber is not necessary at this time. Patients with one of the above conditions who wish to receive an additional dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may self-attest to their condition by completing and signing this form.
Find a COVID-19 Vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine is free and widely available in Louisiana. To find a provider near you:
- Call the Louisiana COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline: 1-855-453-0774.
- Search vaccines.gov [r20.rs6.net] or text your ZIP code to 438829.
- Check your local pharmacy’s website to see if vaccination walk-ins or appointments are available.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long after getting my initial two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine can I get an additional dose?
CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Can you mix and match the vaccines?
For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.
What should immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine do?
The FDA’s recent EUA amendment only applies to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, as does CDC’s recommendation.
Emerging data have demonstrated that immunocompromised people who have low or no protection following two doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines may have an improved response after an additional dose of the same vaccine. There is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine also have an improved antibody response following an additional dose of the same vaccine.
What are the benefits of people receiving an additional vaccine dose?
At a time when the Delta variant is surging, an additional vaccine dose for some people with weakened immune systems could help prevent serious and possibly life-threatening COVID-19 cases within this population.
What are the risks of vaccinating individuals with an additional dose?
There is limited information about the risks of receiving an additional dose of vaccine, and the safety, efficacy and benefit of additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised people continues to be evaluated. So far, reactions reported after the third mRNA dose were similar to that of the two-dose series: fatigue and pain at injection site were the most commonly reported side effects, and overall, most symptoms were mild to moderate.
However, as with the two-dose series, serious side effects are rare, but may occur. Report any serious side effect to the National Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) at http://VAERS.hhs.gov [r20.rs6.net]
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Expands to All Individuals 18 and Up (12 and Up for Pfizer)
More families have the ability to protect their children and their families and enjoy summer with confidence. Louisianans ages 12 and older can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine, following the action by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) formally recommending its use for this age group. Prior to this announcement, the Pfizer vaccine was recommended and authorized for people no younger than 16 years of age.
- Parental/caregiver consent is required. For a person younger than age 18, parental/caregiver consent is needed to get the shot. To make it easy, the Louisiana Department of Health has developed a consent form that can be found on its website at: covidvaccine.la.gov
- The vaccine has now passed the same safety benchmarks for this younger age group as it did for those ages 16 and older. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices overwhelmingly recommended, and the CDC approved, this use of the vaccine, based on clinical trial data that found it to be safe and effective. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine has demonstrated 100% effectiveness in children as young as 12 years old with minimal side effects.
- Families can start making appointments now. The Louisiana Department of Health has alerted vaccine providers that they can begin administering the Pfizer vaccine to people ages 12 and up. This updated guidance goes into effect immediately.
- Families may have questions; that’s understandable. LDH can help get them the answers. If families have questions, we encourage they talk to their child’s pediatrician or another trusted medical professional. If they don’t have access to a medical professional, they can call the Louisiana Department of Health’s COVID vaccine hotline 1-855-453-0774 who can directly connect them.
The State of Louisiana has expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all individuals aged 18 and up (or 12 and up for Pfizer product).
This expansion of eligibility to all individuals meeting the vaccine’s minimum age requirements will supersede all other eligibility classifications and requirements, including the need to provide any documentation or self-attestation demonstrating employment or medical eligibility.
- Getting the COVID vaccine is easy and no cost to the individual. There are currently about 1,500 locations in Louisiana that offer the COVID-19 vaccine. To get your questions answered, find a provider or event near you, or get your appointment scheduled, just call our COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774.
Louisiana Department of Health Resources
- COVID-19 Vaccination Information Guide from the LA COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force (PDF)
- COVID Defense -- Louisiana's exposure notification app -- FAQs (PDF)
- COVID Defense -- Louisiana's exposure notification app -- how it works (PDF)
- Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for COVID-19 available at local sites (PDF)
- Bring Back Louisiana Vaccine Hotline: As part of the Louisiana Department of Health's Bring Back Louisiana campaign, a vaccine hotline is now up and running. The number is: 1-855-453-0774. The hotline’s hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The hotline will help Louisiana residents schedule vaccine appointments, find vaccine providers in their area and connect people with medical professionals who can answer vaccine-related questions.
- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a new webpage to help patients better understand their rights and responsibilities regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines. Additionally, HHS has released a Patient Fact Sheet in both English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).