BATON ROUGE, La – With the release of the first updated COVID-19 vaccine booster, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana encourages residents to make plans to get their shot. Updated booster shots target the most common omicron strains that are spreading now, as well as the initial virus.
The single-dose booster is for anyone ages 12 and older who received their primary COVID-19 or booster vaccines at least two months ago. The updated booster shots are available in some areas already and should be even more accessible in the coming days through health care providers.
“This updated booster offers the broadest protection against COVID-19 and it’s a valuable chance to take quick action against the omicron variants that are causing the majority of cases in Louisiana now,” said Dr. Dee Barfield, Blue Cross senior medical director and vice president, Medical Management.
Health officials say the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variants are more contagious and spread more easily than the original omicron variant and caused the latest COVID-19 surge in Louisiana.
Blue Cross urges everyone to follow health officials’ advice and get the COVID-19 vaccine or booster as soon as you qualify.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana covers the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters at $0 out of pocket for eligible members of individual and employer health plans. Eligible members of Medicare and Medicaid plans or uninsured patients also can get a COVID-19 booster vaccine at no cost. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act requires this no-cost coverage. If you have questions about vaccine coverage on your health plan, contact Customer Service at the number on your member ID card.
“The safe and effective vaccines and this updated booster will help protect you and limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, especially as we head into fall when we love to gather with family and friends,” Barfield said. “Staying current on your vaccines and boosters – whether for COVID-19 or other diseases – gives you the best defense.”
And remember to take other important steps to reduce infections, Barfield said. Properly wash your hands often and wear a mask when in crowded, indoor spaces. Stay home and away from others if you feel sick or know you were exposed. Test as soon as you can.
Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccine or Booster
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation sponsors free ride programs for COVID-19 vaccine and booster appointments statewide. Many community groups offer similar programs. If you do not have a vehicle, are unable to drive or have other barriers to getting your COVID-19 vaccine, call 211 to get connected to nearby programs.
The State of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage at LDH.La.Gov/CovidVaccine tells about the vaccine or booster shots and a list of vaccine locations. You can also call the state COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774 to speak with a medical professional.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms or someone exposed you to COVID-19, see your health care provider for testing and treatment suggestions. You can find community testing resources on the State of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage.
Visit the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel to see short videos on COVID-19 vaccines and other health topics. Subscribe to know when new videos are available. You can connect with Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA for updates. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.