COVID-19 Vaccine

Get the latest information from Ochsner LSU Health on what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Latest Update: Oct. 28, 2021

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots now available

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) approved Moderna vaccine booster shots for adults at increased risk and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults at least two months after their initial immunization, following new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ochsner LSU Health is now administering Moderna and J&J boosters to individuals at our regularly scheduled vaccination locations across the state, in addition to the Pfizer booster which was previously approved.

Please schedule your appointment via MyChart or by calling 318-626-0050 for Shreveport and 318-330-7599 for Monroe.

Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Shots Now Available to Adults at Increased Risk

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for adults at increased risk, following new guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ochsner Health is now administering Pfizer booster shots to individuals at our regularly scheduled vaccination events across the state.

Please schedule your appointment via MyChart or by calling 318-626-0050 for Shreveport and 318-330-7599 for Monroe.

In accordance with Louisiana's mask mandate, Ochsner LSU Health still requires the use of masks at all hospitals and clinics.

Ochsner LSU Health Administering A Booster Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Individuals

If you are 6 months out from your two-dose Pfizer or Moderna series, you are now eligible to receive a booster shot if you are:

If you are 2 months out from your one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are now eligible to receive a booster shot.

Ochsner Health is now administering Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots to individuals at our vaccination locations across the state.

Login to MyChart Create a MyChart Account

If you originally received the Pfizer vaccine, your third dose should be Pfizer. If you originally received the Moderna vaccine, your third dose should be Moderna. At this time, CDC and FDA have not authorized additional shots for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We will need additional data to determine if additional shots are needed for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Accessing Your Vaccination & Testing Credentials

How to Access in MyChart Learn About Smart Health Cards

Please note you must download the latest version of the MyChart app to see the QR codes. In t and If received your COVID-19 vaccination at Ochsner, you can display a QR code in the MyChart/MyOchsner app on your phone that you can use to show your vaccination status. Log in to the app, go to the menu at the top of the page, click on “COVID-19’’ under “My Record,’’ and click on the green button at the bottom of the page that says “QR codes.’’

In accordance with Louisiana's mask mandate, Ochsner LSU Health still requires the use of masks at all hospitals and clinics.

Vaccine Appointment Available Now

Three COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) are currently available. The Pfizer vaccine received full FDA approval in August and is available to anyone ages 12 years or older. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are under FDA Emergency Authorization Use (EUA) and available for anyone ages 18 years or older.

Ochsner Health and Ochsner LSU Health will only recommend and administer vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has certified as safe and effective for all patients and employees, including our most vulnerable populations. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks of forgoing immunization. All three vaccines have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing serious disease. Consent by a parent or guardian is required for anyone under 18. Consent can be provided through MyChart, during ePreCheck, through a witnessed legal consent form, or in person at a vaccination location.

Appointments are encouraged and walk-ups are welcome.

MyChart users can check availability and schedule their vaccinations via MyChart. If you have never been to an Ochsner location before and do not have a MyChart account, you can sign up at my.ochsner.org/lsu, or call 318-626-0050 for Shreveport locations and 318-330-7599 for Monroe.

MyChart Call 318-626-0050 for Shreveport Call 318-330-7599 for Monroe

Community Vaccination Events

Get the latest schedule of vaccination events.

Vaccine Events

We appreciate your willingness to be part of the solution as we work together to end this pandemic.

Answers to your Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Appointment Available Now

Three COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) are currently available. The Pfizer vaccine received full FDA approval in August for ages 16 and above and under FDA Emergency Authorization Use (EUA) is available for ages 5 – 15. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are under FDA Emergency Authorization Use (EUA) and available for anyone ages 18 years or older.

Ochsner LSU Health will only recommend and administer vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has certified as safe and effective for all patients and employees, including our most vulnerable populations. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh the risks of forgoing immunization. All three vaccines have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing serious disease. Consent by a parent or guardian is required for anyone under 18. Consent can be provided through MyOchsner, during ePreCheck, or in person at a vaccination location.

Appointments are encouraged.

MyChart users can check availability and schedule their vaccinations via MyChart. If you have never been to an Ochsner location before and do not have a MyChart account, you can sign up at my.ochsner.org/LSUHealth, visit Ochsner.org/appointment-availability or call 318-626-0050 for Shreveport and 318-330-7599 for Monroe.

Ochsner LSU Health is now administering an additional, or third, COVID-19 vaccine for those who meet certain criteria for immunocompromised individuals as laid out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH).

A third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is approved for people with medical conditions or people receiving treatments that are associated with moderate to severe immune compromise.

Please talk with your healthcare provider about your medical condition to see if getting an additional dose is appropriate for you.

Criteria are as follows:

  • Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (> 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day) or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
  • Other conditions which cause moderate or severe immunosuppression similar to the above conditions.

If you qualify as an immunocompromised individual, please schedule your third vaccine appointment today on MyOchsner where you will be able to see the locations most convenient to you.

If you originally received the Pfizer vaccine, your third dose should be Pfizer. If you originally received the Moderna vaccine, your third dose should be Moderna. At this time, CDC and FDA have not authorized additional shots for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We will need additional data to determine if additional shots are needed for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

  • Those who do not have a MyChart account can sign up at my.ochsner.org/lsuhealth or by calling 844-888-2772. If you have a MyChart account, login here. Appointments are encouraged and walk-ups are welcome.

A booster of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to adults at increased risk.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for adults at increased risk, following guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you are 6 months out from your two-dose Pfizer series, you are now eligible to receive a booster shot if you are:

  • 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

Vaccine Safety, Effectiveness and Side Effects

  • Following full approval from the FDA ,no one is excluded from receiving the vaccine as there are no medical contraindications except for a severe allergic reaction to this vaccine or any of its components.
  • Most importantly, all three vaccines have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing serious disease. All three vaccine have continuous and intense safety monitoring and more than over 346 million doses of COVID-19 have been given in the U.S.
  • We are pleased the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations (EUA) for both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to allow for the use of an additional, or booster, dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. We are awaiting specific guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) that will establish the criteria for those who qualify as immunocompromised. Following an approval protocol with CDC and LDH we will begin to administer doses, and we anticipate that being the week of August 16th.
  • No, the current vaccine trials will continue for the intended duration, which for most trials is 24 months.
  • Additionally, we continue to see more trials for new vaccines and new targeted populations and these new potential trials will need research participants.
  • Since this is a novel virus, we are still unsure how long the vaccine antibodies will last. However, recent data indicate that the mRNA vaccines continue to have a strong response for at least 6 months post-vaccination
  • Like the flu shot, the vaccine is administered into a large muscle in the upper arm. As is the case with any vaccine, allergic reactions may occur. Some may experience mild fever, soreness, muscle aches, headaches, chills, fatigue/tiredness, muscle or joint pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of administration. These are signs of an immune response to the vaccine and expected in some patients.
  • Based on data reported from the FDA emergency use authorization (EUA), possible side effects have been more prominent after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
  • If you have pain or discomfort, you can take your normal pain reliever or talk to your pharmacist about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • To reduce pain and discomfort where you got the shot, you can apply a clean, cool compress over the area. To reduce discomfort from fever, drink plenty of fluids.
  • We recommend that people continue their routine medications as prescribed by their physician which may include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), also known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Patients who have one of the CDC-listed underlying medical conditions and are prescribed NSAID by their physicians, are not excluded and are encouraged to receive the vaccine.
  • While extreme serious reactions to the vaccine are rare, you should seek medical care if:
    • you experience a severe allergic reaction call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room
    • the redness or tenderness where you got the shot increases after 24 hours
    • your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days
  • Ochsner On Call can answer questions at 800-231-5257 or 504-842-3155
  • If you are experiencing an emergency, call 911.
  • Report side effects to FDA/CDC Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Reporting instructions are included in Fact Sheet you received when you got your vaccine.
  • The vaccine cannot cause you to test positive via nasal swab or saliva test. This is not a live vaccine and will not cause you to shed virus.
  • It takes four to six weeks to become fully vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose of either Moderna or Pfizer or the one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Some patients may still become infected or develop symptoms following vaccination against COVID-19. No vaccine is 100% effective.
  • Those that do get infected after vaccination, so called breakthrough cases of COVID-19, are more likely to have mild or no symptoms. Even with the more contagious Delta variant, COVID-19 vaccines have shown up to 90% effectiveness in preventing severe infections that require hospitalization.
  • That is the intent. Instead of traditional vaccines, which may use the virus itself, the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will use a protein on the outside of the virus. This means the vaccine can’t cause COVID-19 in a person, because it’s not using the virus that causes the disease.
  • This stimulates your body’s immune system to mount a response as if it were a true infection, minimizing your risk of infection or disease burden should you encounter the same virus later. The current vaccine candidates have been demonstrated to be over 90% effective in preventing you from developing symptomatic infection from COVID-19.
  • However, in order to stop this pandemic, we need to use every tool available which includes the immunization, social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.
  • No, there are no restrictions after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, but you should continue to wear your mask, social distance and practice good hand hygiene.
  • No deferral is necessary for whole blood or platelet donors who received non-replicating, inactivated or RNA-based vaccines or the mRNA Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
  • No. The FDA does not feel that it would be acceptable for these individuals to donate CCP. This is because it is not known yet if the CCP would be efficacious from a vaccinated person.
  • Yes. Remember, it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines that require 2 shots may not protect you until at least a week after your second shot.
  • It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions.
  • Until we reach herd immunity and the majority of the United States has been vaccinated, we will need to continue to practice social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks. These are the best ways to reduce your chance of being exposed to or spreading the virus until we end this pandemic.
  • Yes. There is not enough information currently available to say how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. In order to stop this pandemic, we need to use every tool available which includes the immunization, social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.
  • It is generally recommended to avoid scheduling “routine” immunizations 14 days before or after your scheduled COVID-19 vaccination. If other vaccines are administered, there is no need to alter the COVID-19 immunization schedule or repeat any of the immunizations.
  • If you are fully vaccinated and have been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive, you are not required to quarantine unless you are symptomatic.
  • You should get tested 3-5 days after exposure and wear a mask indoors for 14 days post exposure, or until you receive a negative test result.

Third Dose

A third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is approved for people with medical conditions or people receiving treatments that are associated with moderate to severe immune compromise.

Criteria are as follows:

  • Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are currently taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (> 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day) or other drugs that may suppress your immune response
  • Other conditions which cause moderate or severe immunosuppression similar to the above conditions.

If you qualify as an immunocompromised individual, please schedule your third vaccine appointment today on MyChart where you will be able to see the locations most convenient to you.

Learn More About Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Learn More About Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

State of Louisiana COVID-19 Vaccination Third Dose Medical Risk Factor Self-Attestation Form

Booster

A booster of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available to to adults at increased risk.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for adults at increased risk, following guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you are 6 months out from your two-dose Pfizer series, you are now eligible to receive a booster shot if you are:

  • 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

Get the facts on COVID-19 booster shots, here.

Sometimes immunocompromised people do not build enough protection against a vaccination, and a third, or additional, dose can help them build more immunity against the disease.

A booster dose is an additional dose for those who have built enough protection after their vaccination but then that protection decreases over time. Booster doses are needed to add protection after time has passed and the initial protection has decreased

Vulnerable Populations

  • COVID-19 vaccination may not be for everyone. If you are unsure if you should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please call your healthcare provider to discuss the possible benefits and risks.
  • Following guidelines from the FDA, no one is excluded from receiving the vaccine, even patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The only medical contraindications to receiving this vaccine are severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or severe allergic reaction to components of this vaccine.

  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine both strongly recommend vaccination for those that are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • In fact, pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people. Severe illness includes illness that requires hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator or special equipment to breathe, or illness that results in death.

  • Additionally, pregnant women with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with pregnant women without COVID-19.

  • Yes, the Delta variant is affecting people of all ages. Across the U.S., we have seen a rapid increase of cases in people of all ages creating a concerning fourth surge of COVID-19. Additionally, the majority of hospitalizations are in those who are unvaccinated and within the ages of 20-50-years-old.
  • For those with children over the age of 2, continue to wear your mask even indoors per new CDC guidelines, practice social distancing and maintain good hand hygiene.
  • We encourage all parents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and those who are not eligible for the vaccine.
  • The claim circulating on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine causes female infertility is FALSE and is not supported by any research.
  • Yes, children ages 12 and older with high risk of complications from COVID-19 and who weigh at least 40 kgs or 88 lbs. are eligible for some of the adult infusion treatments.

Get the Facts on COVID-19

With the spread of misinformation on social media, you may have questions about COVID-19, the Delta variant, the COVID-19 vaccine, masks and other related topics. Ochsner LSU Health is here to give you the facts.

Learn More

Vaccine Scheduling

  • We are scheduling new first dose appointments at select locations on a first come, first serve basis for those who meet the eligibility criteria.
  • MyChart users can schedule their vaccinations via MyChart or by calling 318-626-0050 for Shreveport or 318-330-7599 for Monroe. You can also see which Ochsner regions across the state have vaccine appointments at Ochsner.org/appointment-availability.
  • Patients receiving Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will schedule their first dose via MyChart or by calling. Your second dose is guaranteed. Ochsner LSU Health will notify you of the exact date and time of your second dose appointment via text and email within 24 hours of when your first dose is administered.
  • If you have never been to an Ochsner LSU Health location before and do not have a MyChart account, we encourage you to enroll at my.ochsner.org/lsu. This is a secure portal that allows patients to view test results, message their providers and schedule appointments at the click of a button.
  • Once available vaccine slots are filled on MyChart, you will no longer be able to see the option to book.
  • Those who are eligible will be required to attest that they meet the criteria and may be asked to provide proof. A full list of the criteria can be found at covidvaccine.la.gov.
  • More times and dates will become available as we receive more vaccine each week. We encourage you to continue to check MyChart and Ochsner.org/appointment-availability as more appointments become available and appreciate your patience during this process.
  • As eager as we are to vaccinate as many patients as possible, you must have a scheduled appointment to receive the vaccine.
  • We appreciate your willingness to be part of the solution to end this pandemic.
    • Anyone age 18 years or older is eligible for all COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer Teen + Adult, Moderna, J&J
    • Teens ages 12 – 17 are eligible for the COVID-19 Pfizer Teen + Adult vaccine
    • Children ages 5 – 11 are eligible for the COVID-19 Pfizer Children’s vaccine (a third of the Pfizer Teen + Adult dose given to individuals ages 12 and above.)
    • Remember – All adolescent patients under 18 will be required to have a parent or guardian present when being immunized.
  • If you are receiving a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, your second dose appointment will automatically be scheduled once you have received your first dose. It will be scheduled at the correct interval of time from your first dose: 19 – 23 days for Pfizer, or 26 - 30 days for Moderna, from your first dose.
  • Ochsner LSU Health will notify you of the exact date and time of your second dose appointment via text and email within 24 hours of when your first dose is administered.
  • All second dose appointments will be administered at the same location as first dose appointments.
  • As with any appointment type, you can call our contact center at 1-844-888-2772 to verify the date and time of your second dose appointment.
    • We ask that patients keep their second dose appointments as they are scheduled, but we understand that sometimes appointment times no longer work. If you must change your second dose appointment, please call 1-844-888-2772.

Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization and Distribution Questions

  • Vaccines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after rigorous and extensive development in laboratories, as well as pre-clinical animal studies and testing on human volunteers, to ensure they are safe and effective.
  • Monitoring of the vaccine and how it’s produced, including regular facility inspections, must continue for as long as the manufacturer holds a license for the vaccine.
  • Additionally, the drug sponsor follows a multi-layered approval process, which includes an investigational new drug application, clinical trials and presentation of data to a special FDA advisory committee.
  • Additionally, the drug sponsor follows a multi-layered approval process, which includes an investigational new drug application, clinical trials and presentation of data to a special FDA advisory committee.
  • During a public health emergency, an EUA authorizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make a product available to diagnose, treat or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases.
  • The FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have assured the public that no safety or efficacy evaluation steps would be skipped in approving the vaccine.
  • An emergency authorization functions like a temporary approval for the duration of the emergency or until the FDA grants approval. To win full FDA approval for a New Drug Application, the pharmaceutical sponsor will have to submit additional research to fully define the drug's safety and benefit for patients.
  • You do not need to take a COVID-19 test prior to receiving the vaccine. If you are COVID-19 positive, then it is recommended that you follow the CDC guidelines and isolate for 10 days to limit exposure to others. Once you are out of isolation, you are able to receive the vaccine.
  • There will be no direct cost to employees or patients at this time.
  • No, the current vaccine trials will continue for the intended duration which for most trials is 24 months.
  • Additionally, we will see more trials for new vaccines and new targeted populations and these new potential trials will need research participants.
  • With more than 7 billion people in the world, more trials are needed to help vaccinate the entire world.

Parental Consent Process and Appointment Safety Protocols for Children (Ages 5 – 11) and Teens (Ages 12 - 17)

  • No, as with any vaccination, it is required that a child under the age of 18 must have parental or guardian consent.
  • Consent by a parent or guardian is required for anyone under 18. Consent can be provided through MyChart, during ePreCheck, through a witnessed legal consent form, or in person at the vaccination location.
  • Please note, if your child does not already have a MyChart account, you must fill out a request form which has a turnaround time of 1 to 3 days.
    • If the custodial parent has a MyChart account, they can request access online using the form under the Main Menu >> Sharing >> Request Access.
    • If the custodial parent does NOT have a MyChart account, they can click here to sign up and put in a request. They will receive a notification and an email with this information as well.
  • Ochsner LSU Health is dedicated to delivering vaccines safely and equitably. As the dose of Pfizer Children’s is one third of the dose of the Pfizer Teen and Adult dose, Ochsner LSU Health has built in checks and balances into our vaccine administration process to ensure the right dose is delivered to the right individual every time.
    • The Pfizer Children’s vaccine will be stored separately from the Pfizer Teen and Adult vaccines.
    • Systemwide, Ochsner will use color coding and clear labeling to ensure that the correct dosage is given.
  • Vaccine locations, mobile units and events may limit the types of vaccine offered to make storage, administration and communication as clear as possible.
  • You can find a list of which vaccines are available at different locations on our website at ochsner.org/vaccine.
  • Ochsner LSU Health offers plenty of availability across North Louisiana. We offer vaccinations at our hospitals as well as community vaccine events.
  • You can schedule your child’s vaccination appointment via MyChart or by calling 1-844-888-2772. You can also check out open vaccine appointments at Ochsner.org/appointment-availability.
  • Please note, if your child does not already have a MyChart account, you must fill out a request form which has a turnaround time of 1 to 3 days.
    • If the custodial parent has a MyChart account, they can request access online using the form under the Main Menu >> Sharing >> Request Access.
    • If the custodial parent does NOT have a MyChart account, they can still click here to sign up and put in a request. They will receive a notification and an email with this information as well.

Common Questions about COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens (Age 17 and Under)

  • Yes, Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children continue to encourage all eligible community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and others and ultimately end this pandemic.
  • Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children participated in the adolescent Pfizer vaccine trial for both the 5 – 11-year-old cohort and the 12 –17-year-old cohort, which means our patients contributed to the safety data submitted to FDA.
  • Data specific to the 12 – 15-year-old group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated.
  • Data specific to the 5 – 11-year-old group show a nearly 91% efficacy for this younger age range.
  • COVID-19’s Delta variant led to outbreaks and hospitalizations among young children and infants. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and the risk of long-term complications from COVID.
  • Although children and teenagers are at less risk of severe complications from COVID-19, the virus has still seriously impacted millions of children and teens across the globe.
  • Children and teenagers who have COVID-19 may have no symptoms but are still able to transmit the virus to their parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and loved ones.
  • Vaccinating children and teens for COVID-19 should be treated just like any other routine vaccination. In the same way that children are vaccinated for the measles, mumps and chicken pox, they should also be vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Pfizer received FDA approval under Emergency Authorization Use (EUA) to expand age eligibility for teens (ages 12 – 15) and children (ages 5 -11) based on clinical trial data for each specific age range. Data specific to the 12 – 15-year-old group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated. Data specific to the 5 – 11-year-old group show a nearly 91% efficacy for this younger age range.
  • Just like the three vaccines currently being administered under EUA, the FDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have assured the public that no safety or efficacy evaluation steps have been skipped in approving the vaccine.
  • Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children remain committed to educating our patients about the COVID-19 vaccines so they can make informed decisions for themselves and their family.
  • Teens (ages 12 – 17): The FDA amended the EUA originally issued on December 11, 2020 to include adolescents 12 – 15 years of age on May 10, 2021.
  • Children (ages 5 – 11): The FDA granted EUA for the Pfizer Children’s vaccine for ages 5 – 11 on October 29, 2021.
  • The Pfizer Children’s vaccine (ages 5 – 11) and the Pfizer teen and adult vaccine (ages 12+) is now available. You can schedule your vaccination appointment via MyOchsner or by calling 1-844-888-2772. You can also see which Ochsner regions across the state have vaccine availability.
  • EUA approval is granted based on clinical trial results for each age grouping. There are ongoing trials for younger age groups, starting as young as six months old.
  • Teens (ages 12 – 17): Pfizer completed its adolescent trial for children ages 12-17 earlier this year. Results from the trial for children ages 16-17 showed the vaccine is safe and effective and granted EUA approval on December 11, 2020. The results of Pfizer’s 12–15-year-old age group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated. Based on both sets of successful results, Pfizer again applied for EUA status which was granted on May 10, 2021.
  • Children (ages 5 – 11): The FDA granted EUA for the Pfizer Children’s vaccine for ages 5 – 11 on INSERT DATE . Data specific to the 5 – 11-year-old group show a nearly 91% efficacy for this younger age range.
  • There are no differences between the two Pfizer vaccines other than dosage.
  • Teens (Ages 12 – 15) are eligible for Pfizer Teen + Adult. This is the same two-dose regimen currently being administered to those who are ages 16 and older. Data specific to the 12-15-year-old group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated.
  • Children (Ages 5 – 11) are eligible for Pfizer Children’s. This is a two-dose regimen of 10-microgram doses – a third of the dose for individuals 12 and above.
  • In alignment with data-driven CDC recommendations, the safest route is a layered approach of available COVID-19 mitigation tools – including both vaccination, masking and quarantining.
  • Check with your local parish and school system for specific rules and regulations.
  • Your child will need to receive two doses, scheduled 21 days apart, to be fully effective and provide the most protection.
  • Pfizer Boosters have recently been approved under EUA for individuals who completed their vaccine series within a certain time period and those at high risk and those with certain medical conditions. To learn more about booster recommendations visit the CDC website.
  • A third dose for children under 18 is not currently recommended, although this guidance may change based on ongoing studies.
  • The vaccine was studied in adults first before expanding to include younger age groups.
  • A child’s immune system is different than an adult’s and must be specifically studied when given a vaccine. This includes looking at dosage amounts.
  • Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children participated in the adolescent Pfizer vaccine trial for both the 5 – 11-year-old cohort and the 12 –17-year-old cohort, which means our patients contributed to the safety data submitted to FDA. Data specific to the 12 – 15-year-old group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated. Data specific to the 5 – 11-year-old group show a nearly 91% efficacy for this younger age range.
  • There are ongoing trials for Moderna, J&J and Pfizer for younger age groups, starting as young as six months old. Pending data results, each pharmaceutical company applies for EUA approval for specific age ranges on an individual basis.
  • Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children will only recommend and administer vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has certified as safe and effective for all patients and employees, including our most vulnerable populations.
  • Ochsner Health and Ochsner Hospital for Children participated in the adolescent Pfizer vaccine trial for both the 5 – 11-year-old cohort and the 12 –17-year-old cohort, which means our patients contributed to the safety data submitted to FDA. Data specific to the 12 – 15-year-old group shows 100% efficacy, robust antibody responses and was well tolerated. Data specific to the 5 – 11-year-old group show a nearly 91% efficacy for this younger age range.
  • Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. In both cases, the body’s immune system causes inflammation in response to an infection or some other trigger.
  • Since April 2021, increased cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been reported in the United States after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), particularly in adolescents and young adults. There has not been a similar reporting pattern observed after receipt of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
  • In most cases, patients who presented for medical care have responded well to medications and rest and had prompt improvement of symptoms. Reported cases have occurred predominantly in male adolescents and young adults 16 years of age and older. CDC and its partners are investigating these reports of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
  • · CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible individuals, given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, such as long-term health problems, hospitalization, and even death.
  • Nearly 6.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) continues to recommend that adolescents get vaccinated. The serious risks of COVID-19 — even for young healthy people — outweigh the risks of any possible side effects from the vaccine.
  • Given the risk of COVID-19 illness and related, possibly severe complications, CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older. Getting vaccinated is the best way to help protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.
  • Following guidelines from the FDA EUA, no one is excluded from receiving the vaccine. The only medical contraindications to receiving this vaccine are severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of this vaccine or severe allergic reaction to components of this vaccine.
  • It is important to have this discussion with your pediatrician to determine if this is the best decision for your child.
  • Yes. There is not enough information currently available to say how long after infection someone is protected from getting COVID-19 again. To stop this pandemic, we need to use every tool available which includes immunization, social distancing, handwashing and wearing masks.
  • Studies show that those who are fully vaccinated and have antibodies from a previous COVID-19 infection are very protected from being reinfected.
  • The CDC now recommends that other vaccines can be given with the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • This includes the flu vaccine. Individuals ages 6 months and up are recommended by the CDC to receive an annual flu vaccination.
  • It is important that children who may have missed doses of routine vaccines during the pandemic complete or catch up with these routine immunizations.
  • Pfizer reports the side effects found in children during its trial were generally consistent with those found in adults immediately following vaccination.
  • As is the case with any vaccine, allergic reactions may occur. Some may experience mild fever, soreness, muscle aches, headaches, chills, tiredness and redness or swelling at the site of administration. These are signs of an immune response to the vaccine and are expected in some patients.
  • It is common for children to experience fever after any vaccination; this is an anticipated side effect.
  • While extreme serious reactions to the vaccine are rare, you should seek medical care if:
    • Your child experiences a severe allergic reaction (call 911 or go to the nearest ER)
    • The side effects do not seem to be going away or are getting worse after a few days.
  • We do not recommend pre-treating your child with pain or fever reducers because it may weaken your child’s immune response to vaccines.
  • After the vaccine, you may give your child a pain or fever reducers if needed.
  • While every individual is unique, there are no indications that reactions run in families.
  • There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccine affects child development, puberty or fertility.

J&J Vaccine

  • Yes. When you book your vaccine, you will be able to choose which vaccine you would prefer, and available appointments will show for that vaccine only.
  • The type of vaccine available at each site is dependent upon supply.
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two shots each – one shot followed by a booster either 19 - 23 or 26 - 30 days later depending on the vaccine. Each uses mRNA, or messenger RNA, which gives cells instructions to create a protein like the SAR-CoV2 protein. Once the protein is created, it triggers the immune response leading to the production of antibodies.
  • The J&J vaccine uses one shot. It utilizes the adenoviruses which are the same viruses that can cause the common cold. These inactivated/non-infective adenoviruses can be used to deliver DNA, which are instructions for proteins. For the COVID-19 vaccine, researchers swap in a gene from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) so that the modified cold virus makes the SARS-CoV2 protein, stimulating production of antibodies and additional immune responses to fight off the virus. The process creates an immune memory, which ultimately teaches the body to both recognize and attack the virus.
  • It is normal to have flu-like symptoms after being given a vaccination. They are reported be generally mild to moderate, resolving within 1-2 days, with 1% to 2% reported as severe. View the list of potential side effects here.
  • People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
  • There is an extremely remote potential of developing a rare blood clot disorder -- less than one case per million doses given -- called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), within two weeks of vaccination.
  • CVST is a rare form of stroke, affecting 5 people in 1 million every year.
  • Your likelihood of developing CVST is very low, but you should seek medical attention if you experience the severe symptoms listed above. The six patients who developed CVST experienced symptoms 6-13 days following their vaccinations. Although significant side effects are rare, it’s recommended that you share you’ve recently been vaccinated with doctors if you are seeking treatment.
  • It is normal to have flu-like symptoms after being given a vaccination. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

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