BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Department of Health held a briefing discussing Pfizer COVID-19 booster recommendations on Friday, Sept. 24.
Booster shots of the Pfizer COVID vaccine are available to at-risk adults, according to new guidance from the CDC.
State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter took the lead of the briefing, presenting data regarding third boosters.
Dr. Kanter said the number one focus in Louisiana is getting more people vaccinated, to begin with.
“That’s what’s going to protect our community,” said Dr. Kanter.
He shared data that has led to the recommendation of a third booster. Dr. Kanter said the data shows that vaccines do hold up with the delta variant and the vaccine remains effective against hospitalization among adults with underlying conditions.
Dr. Kanter says the rate of adverse effects of the vaccine lowers by the third dose compared to the second dose according to data from the Israeli Ministry of Health.
Data has been collected by the Israeli Ministry of Health regarding myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart.
Dr. Kanter said that younger people, typically males, are more likely to get myocarditis but is extremely rare. He said within Louisiana there have been three cases of vaccine-related myocarditis in younger individuals and they were all okay after a few days in the hospital.
Benefits and risks after Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose (for every million doses of vaccine given)
“If you’re in the older age brackets, there’s much, much, much more benefit to you getting boosted than there is risk,” said Dr. Kanter.
Dr. Kanter says there are three groups of people eligible to get a Pfizer booster, including:
- Age 65 or older
- Age 18 or older and have one of many underlying medical conditions
- Age 18 or older and live or work in a setting that places you at risk of being exposed to COVID
Dr. Kanter said the CDC recommends boosters to people 65+ or 55+ with underlying conditions. LDH recommends people talk with their doctor about receiving a booster.
“We’ve been assured by the White House that there is ample Pfizer supply on this,” said Dr. Kanter.
He said there will be more conversation about boosters for those who have received Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations or schedule an appointment, visit ldh.la.gov/covidvaccine.