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FDA & CDC gives green light for COVID-19 boosters for all adults

Coronavirus

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Both the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have now given the green light for all adults to get COVID-19 booster shots, but are pharmacies and doctors’ offices ready for demand here in Louisiana?

Late Friday, the U.S. opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to get a booster shot.

Until approval, Americans faced a confusing list of who was eligible, under the new rules, anyone 18 or older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose. Experts said people can mix-and-match boosters from any company.

“We have 11 yes’s and zero no’s and vote number 1 passes,” Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

The CDC’s approval came hours after the FDCs gave the okay to expand the eligibility for the third shot.

A decision that came after many states saw a spike in COVID-19 cases and 14 states started urging people to get their boosters despite no federal recommendations.

“A third shot, a booster shot, six months after your second shot of Moderna of Pfizer, dramatically reduces your risk of getting infected and spreading the virus,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean at Brown University School of Public Health said.

Right now the positivity rate in Louisiana is 2.0%.

Only 48.2% of the state is fully vaccinated, but only 7.9% have gotten a booster.

“By working together, we have made significant progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our state, which is why as we head into the holiday season it is critical that Louisianans get a booster shot as soon as they become eligible in order to protect themselves and their loved ones against the possibility of another surge. The vaccines are widely available, safe and offer the most effective protection we have against this virus. We want everyone to spend time with their family and friends and to do so as safely as possible.”

GOV. JOHN BEL EDWARDS

Nationally, about 17% of those who are fully vaccinated have received a booster dose.

“The rate of disease is markedly lower, for those who received their booster shot,” Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC said.

Louisiana’s “Shot for $100” incentive program is also available until Nov. 30.

Who is eligible?

  • General public: Anyone receiving their first shot is eligible and may only participate once. Minors are eligible for the cash incentive but require parental consent to get the vaccine. 
  • College students: Anyone receiving their first or second shots is eligible and may only participate once.

Pharmacies like Brookshires, Walgreens, Kroger, and CVS offer the vaccine. They are also available at Ochsner and Christus facilities as well as many local clinics. For more information on where to find a vaccine near you call 1-800-232-0233 or use the CDC map to search for locations in your area.

“Readily available, across the county, it doesn’t take a lot of time, it should be easy for people to do and that is what our focus is on,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Friday’s new guidelines don’t really change things for anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait already was just two months. Doctors want to emphasize boosters are a great idea but people getting their first round of shots is going to be how we stop the spread of this virus.

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