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CDC committee officially recommends approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses

BREAKING NEWS: CDC advisory committee unanimously recommends approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses as well as ‘mix and match’ of vaccines

  • The CDC’s advisory committee unanimously recommended approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses on Thursday 
  • Members also approved of fully vaccinated Americans getting a booster dose different than their initial vaccine 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) advisory committee officially recommended boosters doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Thursday.

The members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted unanimously to give J&J’s extra doses to adults aged 18 and older and Modena’s third shot to those aged 65 and older or at high risk due to underlying conditions or their jobs

ACIP also recommended that fully vaccinated Americans be able to ‘mix and match’ Covid vaccines and booster shots.  

This means people can receive a booster made by a company that is different than the one that made the vaccine they initially received. 

Until the FDA announced its decision, ACIP was unable to recommend third doses, a necessary step before pharmacists or clinicians can immunize patients.  

The CDC is not bound to follow the advisory group’s recommendations, but the agency rarely goes against the guidance of ACIP.   

The CDC’s advisory committee unanimously recommended approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster doses on Thursday. Pictured: Nurse Elyse Isopo receives COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine booster at Teaching Center LIJ Medical Center in New York, September 23

Moderna's third dose is only authorized for those aged 65 and older or those between ages 18 and 64 at high risk due to underlying conditions or their jobs. Pictured: Moderna vials sit on a table in Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 2020

J&J's booster shot is approved for all American adults aged 18 and older. Pictured: Boxes stand next vials of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Colorado, March 2021

Moderna’s (left) third dose is only authorized for those aged 65 and older or those between ages 18 and 64 at high risk due to underlying conditions or their jobs. J&J’s (right) booster shot is approved for all American adults aged 18 and older

J&J’s authorization comes after the company published data in September looking at the effectiveness of a second dose given 56 days after the first in adults 18 and older. 

Results showed a booster shot was 94 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100 percent effective against critical illness at least 14 days post-vaccination. 

This compares to 70 percent protection seen with a single dose. 

There was only one case of COVID-19 in the vaccine group and 14 in the placebo group.

J&J said that a booster given two months after the first dose increased antibody levels between four-fold and six-fold. 

When given six months after the first dose, antibody levels shot up nine-fold after one week and 12-fold after four weeks. 

In the case of Moderna, the company presented data at the ACIP meeting showing a booster raised antibody levels between 23-fold and 44-fold. 

The firm also revealed that  people who received its COVID-19 vaccine last year are nearly twice as likely to get a breakthrough infection compared to those recently vaccinated. 

There were 88 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among Americans vaccinated from December 2020 to March 2021.

Comparatively, there were 162 cases – 1.8 times as many – among those vaccinated between July 2020 and December 2020.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company said the data provided evidence for giving booster doses to fully vaccinated people. 

The authorization of ‘mix and match’ boosters comes after researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presented data at an FDA advisory committee meeting on Friday showing people who got Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine had higher antibody levels if they get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot. 

 

This is a breaking news story and will be updated. 

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