CDC clarifies COVID-19 vaccine booster guidance

Staff Report
Kate Maholic, R.N., gives a dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to 14-year-old Tara Hokaj in Erie, Penn.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated and clarified its COVID-19 booster guidance, according to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Health.

The CDC is "unequivocally recommending that everyone 12 years old and above receive a booster dose if eligible," the release stated.

Below is a summary of the updated guidance:

  • Individuals 12-17 years old are recommended to receive a booster shot 5 months after completion of their initial Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) vaccination series. At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 12-17.
  • All individuals ages 12 and older are recommended to receive a Pfizer dose 5 months after completing the initial series instead of the previously recommended 6 months. The booster interval for people who initially received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (2 months) or the Moderna vaccine (6 months) has not changed.
  • Moderately or severely immunocompromised children ages 5-11 are recommended to receive an additional primary (or third) dose of vaccine 28 days after completing their second initial series vaccination. At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 5-11.

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

For a person younger than age 18, parental/caregiver consent is needed. Download the LDH consent form at ldh.la.gov/Covid-19K-12.

Vaccination, along with other preventative measures, can protect children from COVID-19 using the safe and effective vaccines already recommended for use in adolescents and adults in the United States. Data show that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen protection against Omicron and other SARS-CoV-2 variants. 

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at more than 1,000 locations in all of Louisiana’s 64 parishes, including at pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare clinics and doctor’s offices.

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. To speak with a medical professional If you have questions or need help scheduling an appointment, call 211 or the Louisiana vaccine hotline at 1-855-453-0774. The vaccine hotline can also connect you with medical professionals who can answer your questions.