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COVID-19: US FDA Okays Moderna And J&J Vaccine Boosters, Allows ‘mix And Match’ Shots

United States regulators on Wednesday, 20 October gave a nod to extend COVID-19 boosters to the ones who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

FDA

IMAGE: AP


United States regulators on Wednesday, 20 October gave a nod on extending COVID-19 boosters to the ones who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that anyone eligible for an extra booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine can ‘mix and match’ and get a brand different from the one they received initially. The agency’s latest decision marks a major step towards expanding America’s booster campaign that began only with extra doses of Pfizer’s jab last month.

Notably, before more people receive the extra dose of vaccines, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will consult a panel of experts on Thursday ahead of finalising the official recommendations regarding who should receive the booster shots and when. The number of Americans eligible for the boosters would drastically shoot up by the latest measures and formal nod to “mixing and matching” of jabs. More specifically, the FDA has authorised the third shot of the Moderna vaccine for seniors and other vulnerable people facing a risk of COVID-19, at least six months after the last shot.   

The FDA said in a release, “The use of a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine that may be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals: 65 years of age and older; 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe COVID-19; 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.”

It added that the use of a single booster dose of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at least two months after the completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age or older. It also said, “The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose in eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine.”

‘Availability of authorised boosters is important’

In a statement, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. noted, “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 hospitalisation and death. The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of these authorised boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease.”

(IMAGE: AP)

Tags: COVID-19, US, FDA
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