In the coming days, a critical independent Food and Drug Administration panel will likely take steps towards approving booster shots of both Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccins.
On Thursday, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet to discuss the risks and benefits of recommending booster shots for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccination. This meeting is expected to conclude with an initial, non-binding voting on the formal recommendation of shots.
Friday’s meeting will feature a discussion on Johnson & Johnson booster shot.
According to ABC NewsIf the panel votes in favor of booster shots, the matter will go to the FDA.
If the FDA issues a formal suggestion, the question will be posed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The committee already has meetings scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21 to discuss Moderna boosters and Johnson & Johnson boosters. For full approval, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director at the CDC will have to issue a final recommendation.
ABC News believes that the earliest booster shots could be approved in an emergency situation would be Oct. 22.
The New York TimesReports indicate that Johnson & Johnson boosters are more recommended by the VRBPAC, which has a lower efficacy rate. The Moderna vaccine has been shown to be less likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms several months after the last dose.
The VRBPAC Friday will also weigh the new report by the National Institutes for Health. This indicates that mixing and matching different types of vaccines and booster dosesThe strong antibody response was still evident.
Researchers wrote that the data suggests that, if a vaccine or booster is approved or authorized, an immune response can be generated regardless the primary COVID-19 vaccination schedule.
This study is not yet peer-reviewed.
FDA and CDC both have already approved booster shotsFor people 65 years and older, people with underlying medical conditions, and people who have essential jobs. According to the FDA, these Americans should seek a booster from Pfizer six months after their second dose.