The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is expected to hold a meeting Friday to discuss emergency authorization of booster doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for people age 18 and older.
The event is scheduled to begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. See discussion in player above.
US health advisers said Thursday that some Americans who received Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago should receive a half-dose booster to increase protection against the coronavirus.
The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of external advisors unanimously voted to recommend booster shots for seniors as well as young adults with other health problems, jobs or living conditions that may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. put at risk.
The recommendation is non-binding but it is an important step toward expanding the US booster campaign to millions more Americans. Many people who got their initial Pfizer shots at least six months ago are already receiving boosters after the FDA authorized their use last month — and they’re the same high-risk group that the FDA advisers said. That they should get the Modern Booster.
But there is no evidence that the time has come to open up booster doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to everyone, the panel insisted – despite the initial Biden administration’s plan to eventually do so.
The coronavirus is still a threat to most unvaccinated people – while vaccinated people have strong protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19.
“I really don’t see the need for a ‘Let It Rip’ campaign for everyone,” said Dr. Michael Kurilla of the National Institutes of Health.
As for the dosage, the initial Moderna vaccination consists of two 100-microgram shots. But Moderna says a single shot of 50 micrograms should be enough for the booster.
The agency called on its experts earlier this year to weigh in on when and when they should get the boosters for those receiving the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots.
Editor’s note: Johnson & Johnson is a funder for PBS NewsHour.