Louisiana Department of Health Announces that Children Six Months and Older Now Eligible for Updated COVID-19 Bivalent Booster.

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Published December 15, 2022

Louisiana Department of Health Announces that Children Six Months and Older Now Eligible for Updated COVID-19 Bivalent Booster.

Louisiana – The Louisiana Department of Health has announced that children aged six months and older are now eligible to receive the updated COVID-19 bivalent booster. The revised boosters are intended to provide continuing protection against the original strain and protection against two Omicron variant lineages. The guidance goes into effect immediately.

After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization expanding the ages eligible for the new booster, the Louisiana Department of Health announced on December 13, 2022, that children aged 6 months and older in Louisiana are now eligible to receive the updated COVID-19 bivalent booster.

The revised boosters are intended to provide continuing protection against the original strain, as well as protection against two Omicron variant lineages, BA.4 and BA.5. Vaccines against COVID-19 are crucial for sustaining protection as immunity wanes and the virus continues to evolve.

This revised guidance goes into effect immediately.

The CDC and LDH recommend that everyone maintain a COVID-19 vaccination schedule. If you have finished a primary series and received the most recent booster dosage suggested by CDC, you are considered current. The CDC suggests that people:

Under six years of age:

  • Moderna (authorized for 6 months-5 years): Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (2 doses), plus an updated (bivalent) booster.

     

  • Pfizer (authorized for 6 months-4 years): Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (3 doses). No booster is currently recommended for those children who have completed the 3-dose series. Those who have not completed or are in the process of completing their primary series will receive the bivalent booster as their third dose.

6 years and older:

  • Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (2 doses) and get a bivalent booster.

Louisiana has unfortunately lost 25 infants to COVID-19 since March 2020. In addition, the LDH has identified 348 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a severe illness related with COVID-19 in which many body organs become inflamed.

As some providers may not get their initial shipments until later this week, LDH recommends parents and caregivers to contact their child’s pediatrician to determine if they offer the COVID-19 booster and to develop a plan. Or, you can visit vaccines.gov to locate a local provider, then phone or visit the provider’s website to schedule an appointment.

For individuals under the age of 18, parental or guardian approval is required for vaccinations. The LDH has created a consent form, which can be obtained by following this link.

The Louisiana Department of Health also recently indicated that COVID-19 and influenza cases are rising in Louisiana.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and flu activity at its highest level in at least five years, the LDH reminds residents to ensure that they and their loved ones are up-to-date on immunizations and boosters before attending Christmas parties.

Everyone older than 6 months should receive a flu vaccination.

It is safe and practical to receive both the COVID-19 vaccination, including the latest bivalent booster, and the flu vaccine simultaneously.