BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards encourages the people of Louisiana to get the new COVID-19 booster and flu shot.

The new bi-valent COVID-19 booster shot provides protection against multiple variants of the virus. The flu vaccine offers added protection against respiratory illness.

LDH recommend all Louisiana residents get the new bi-valent COVID-19 booster vaccine and the flu vaccine to protect against severe illness that could lead to hospitalization and fatalities.

“Let’s start now to do what we can to maximum the protection, we have available,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

On Tuesday morning, Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health leaders received their seasonal flu and updated COVID-19 booster shots at Our Lady of the Lake’s North Baton Rouge Clinic.

During the meeting the Governor addressed how “It is safe and appropriate to have both at the same time.”

Governor Edwards adds that Tuesday morning alone, over 331 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Combine that with what health officials say, this will be a very active flu season.

Some countries in the southern hemisphere, which can be predictors of flu activity in the northern hemisphere, are experiencing their most severe flu season in five years.

In the 2018 flu season, LDH estimated more than 1,000 people died and more than 14,000 people were hospitalized from the flu.

“We don’t want to have that happen this year, while we’re still dealing with COVID,” stated Governor Edwards.

The governor also added that the Pfizer booster is available for anyone who is 12 and older. The Moderna booster is available for anyone who is 18 and older.

LDH says ideally everyone six months of age and older should get their flu shot by the end of October.

 In addition to flu vaccines, there are other ways you can fight the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick,
  • If you are sick, stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them,
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze,
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way,
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause the flu

If you’re looking for locations closest to you that provide COVID-19 booster and flu shots, click here.