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FDA authorizes boosters for Moderna, J&J, allows mix-and-match


 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, while also allowing boosters to be given interchangeably with any of the other vaccines, in people who are eligible to get them.

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The move to amend the Emergency Use Authorization for these vaccines gives the vaccine experts on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices latitude to recommend a mix-and-match strategy if they feel the science supports it.

The committee convenes Oct. 21 for a day-long meeting to make its recommendations for additional doses.

People who’ve previously received two doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine, which is now called Spikevax, are eligible for a third dose of any COVID-19 vaccine if they are 6 months past their second dose and are:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • 18 to 64 years of age, but at high risk for severe COVID-19 because of an underlying health condition
  • 18 to 64 years of age and at high risk for exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus because they live in a group setting, such as a prison or care home, or work in a risky occupation, such as healthcare

People who’ve previously received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a second dose of any COVID-19 vaccine if they are over the age of 18 and at least 2 months past their vaccination.

“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, in a news release. “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.

“The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease.”

A version of this article was first published on Medscape.com.

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