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Louisiana Health Alert Network issues recommendations on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine(KALB)
Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 8:41 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (LA HAN) - On Monday, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation for a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in certain populations and also recommended a booster dose for those in high risk occupational and institutional settings.

This updated interim guidance from CDC allows for millions of Americans who are at highest risk for COVID-19 to receive a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot to help increase their protection.

CDC and the State of Louisiana recommends:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 50–64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.
  • People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.
  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

Many of the people who are now eligible to receive a booster shot received their initial vaccine early in the vaccination program and will benefit from additional protection. With the Delta variant’s dominance as the circulating strain and risk of community transmission remaining elevated, a booster shot will help strengthen protection against severe disease in those populations who are at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19 or the complications from severe disease.

Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine providers should simply accept the verbal self-representation of patients for the applicable categorizes - no verification or written self-attestation form is required. Providers do not need to hold for audit any additional proof of verification or self-attestation - they simply will be expected to inform the patient of the eligibility categories and trust the patient’s verbal affirmation. Any patient unsure if they qualify under a particular category, or with any other relevant questions, should discuss risk/benefits with their physician or practitioner.

All vaccine dose administrations must be documented in the Louisiana Immunization Network (LINKS) within 24 hours of vaccination (as per the COVID-19 vaccine provider agreement) and on the patient’s CDC COVID-19 Vaccination card. If they don’t have their old card, a new card containing just the administered booster dose, clearly marked as such, should be given.

These recommendations and guidance for Pfizer booster shots are effective immediately. Providers may begin administering booster shots as soon as they are able to operationalize the guidance.

CDC and LDH will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to ensure appropriate recommendations to keep the public safe. The booster recommendations outlined above apply only to people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech primary series. The CDC and LDH will also evaluate with similar urgency available data in the coming weeks to swiftly make additional recommendations for other populations or people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

For questions, please email la.immunization@la.gov

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