BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Department of Health is aligning with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and encouraging all Louisiana children ages 6 months and up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccinations can start on Monday and can either be the three-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

Louisiana Department of Health held a technical briefing about this decision at 1:30 p.m.

“The COVID-19 vaccines have saved thousands of lives in Louisiana. Many parents are eager to extend this protection to their younger children and we are pleased they now have the opportunity to do so,” said LDH State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “With the addition of this younger age group, we recommend everyone in the family ages 6 months and up receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Studies have shown vaccination confers additional protection even for those who have previously been infected. While most children experience only mild symptoms from COVID-19, unfortunately some do get quite ill. As it has for adults and older children, vaccination of younger children will save lives.”

LDH says over the last 27 months, 21 children have died from COVID-19 in Louisiana and none of those children were up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations.