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Booster shots: what you need to know

With 3 types of boosters available, who can get one and where?

NEW ORLEANS — Boosters for Moderna and Johnson&Johnson are now available to those who qualify. With three available to the public, it can all get a bit confusing. Here's what you need to know when it comes to getting a booster.

Booster shots are now available for all three vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson&Johnson. What exactly does this mean for you, especially if you're interested in getting another dose?

First, lets look at Pfizer. That was the first to get Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If that was what you got, it's recommended you get a booster if you're at least 65 years old. However, remember, it also needs to be at least six months since your second dose.

Those 18 years of age and up can get a booster if they have an underlying medical condition, or work/live in a high-risk environment. Health officials say determining a high-risk working or living environment is at the discretion of the individual. If someone is interested in getting a booster shot, but isn't sure if he or she is eligible, they should speak with a medical professional.

Now to Moderna, which follows the same guidelines as Pfizer.

Again, the Louisiana Department of Health says a booster is encouraged for those 65 and up, and who've been waiting at least six months after their second dose. Also, like Pfizer, if you're at least 18, and have a weakened immune system or work or live in a high-risk environment, you qualify. 

That includes those who have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and those who are teachers, work in supermarkets or are first responders.

Johnson&Johnson though is a bit different. The booster recommendation for that vaccine is quite simple. Anyone 18 and up can get one as long as you wait two months from when you initially got it.

If eligible, boosters are available now at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. If you go online, you'll see many of them are offering same day appointments. Local pharmacies and doctor offices are also giving boosters. However, it's recommended you call ahead of time to make sure they have it, in case you need to make an appointment, or to see what brand they offer.

Remember, you can choose the booster shot you get. Mixing and matching is now allowed, and in some cases, reports show it can help increase protection.

Like the first vaccine shots, the booster shots are free.

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