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CDC expands eligibility for the updated COVID-19 bivalent booster to children as young as 6 months

Baton Rouge, La. (December 13, 2022) — Louisiana children ages 6 months and older are now eligible to receive the updated COVID-19 bivalent booster, after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorsed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization expanding the ages eligible for the new booster.

The updated boosters are formulated to offer continued protection against the original strain, while also offering new protection against two lineages of the Omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5. Most importantly, COVID-19 vaccines are critical to providing ongoing protection as immunity wanes and the virus continues to mutate.

This updated guidance is effective immediately.

CDC and LDH recommend everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination. You are considered up to date if you have completed a primary series and received the most recent booster dose recommended for you by CDC. CDC recommends that people:

Under 6 years old

  • Moderna (authorized for 6 months-5 years): Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (2 doses), plus an updated (bivalent) booster.
  • Pfizer (authorized for 6 months-4 years): Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (3 doses). No booster is currently recommended for those children who have completed the 3-dose series. Those who have not completed or are in the process of completing their primary series will receive the bivalent booster as their third dose.

6 years old and up

  • Receive all COVID-19 original (monovalent) primary series doses (2 doses) and get a bivalent booster.

Since March 2020, Louisiana tragically has lost 25 children to COVID-19. In addition, LDH has confirmed 348 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) – a serious condition associated with COVID-19 in which different parts of the body become inflamed.

LDH encourages parents and caregivers to contact their child’s pediatrician to find out if they offer the COVID-19 booster and to make a plan, as some providers may not receive their initial shipments until later this week. Or, visit vaccines.gov to find a provider near you, then call or visit the provider’s website to make an appointment.

For a person younger than age 18, parental/caregiver consent is needed to get the shot. LDH has developed a consent form that can be found on its website at ldh.la.gov/Covid-19K-12.

COVID-19 and flu are on the rise in Louisiana

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and flu reaching its highest level in at least five years, LDH reminds residents to make sure they and their loved ones are up to date on their vaccines and boosters ahead of holiday gatherings.

Everyone 6 months and older should get their flu shot. 

It is safe and convenient to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including the updated bivalent booster, and the flu vaccine at the same time.

About the Louisiana Department of Health

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn more, visit www.ldh.la.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or our blog.