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“I think this frankly was always a two-dose vaccine ... It would be hard to recommend this as a single-dose vaccine at this point.”

FDA advisor Dr. Paul Offit on the FDA's recommendation for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

Published on

oct 18, 2021

  • On Friday, an FDA advisory committee unanimously voted to recommend booster shots for Johnson & Johnson's single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, following the company's request for approval earlier this month.
  • CNBC reported J&J submitted data showing a second dose of their vaccine boosts "protection against symptomatic infection from 72% to 94% when administered two months after the first dose in the United States."
  • Before the panel voted on the J&J booster shot, some committee members questioned whether they should postpone their decision due to concerns about limited data. The committee chair said of J&J vaccine recipients: "There is a public health imperative here because what we're seeing is this is a group with overall lower efficacy than we have seen with the mRNA vaccines so there is some urgency to do something." (The J&J vaccine does not use the mRNA technology that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use to fight the virus that causes COVID-19.)
  • The FDA panel recommended booster shots for those ages 18 and up who have received the J&J vaccine at least two months prior.
  • The FDA generally follows the advice of the recommending committee, and a final decision is expected very soon. These are all important steps before the United States can begin administering booster shots of J&J's COVID-19 vaccines.

Why It Matters: Over time, data has shown waning immunity following initial COVID-19 vaccinations. Pfizer's vaccine booster shot was recently authorized, and last week the FDA advisory committee recommended Moderna's vaccine booster shot - both for those older/at higher risk. More than 15 million Americans over the age of 18 have already received J&J's COVID-19 vaccine, and could be eligible for the booster shot if it is authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC.

FDA panel unanimously recommends J&J Covid booster shots to adults who already got the first dose (CNBC).

Click HERE for good background read on why the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccine boosters are currently recommended only for those older/at higher risk - as opposed to J&J's vaccine, which does not use mRNA technology to fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

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