On Wednesday, the U.S regulator, Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the Johnson & Johnson’s and Moderna’s Covid vaccines.
In the same vein, the U.S. regulator authorized the “mixing and matching” vaccines, which will allow Americans get a booster shot from a different drugmaker than the one that made their initial doses.
The FDA clearance came after the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously recommended additional shots of both vaccines last week.
What they are saying
“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said in a statement.
She further added, “As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death”.
What this means
The Moderna booster was recommended by the committee, for elderly people and vulnerable or at-risk adults six months after they must have completed their primary series of shots, bringing it in line with the distribution plan for Pfizer and BioNTech’s booster.
In addition, the U.S regulator also endorsed the J&J boosters for people 18 years and older who received the initial shot at least two months ago.
This ruling will now be handed off to the CDC and its vaccine advisory committee to issue a recommendation, and if the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky signs off, additional shots for those vaccines will be distributed immediately to eligible people as another critical step in distributing extra doses to tens of millions of people.
The FDA and ultimately, the Center of Disease Control’s authorization would make booster doses available to the over 15 million people who have been inoculated with J&J’s shots and the more than 69 million people who have been fully immunized with Moderna’s vaccine.