FDA approves mixing of COVID vaccines, boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. regulators have approved booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines and says anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.
These decisions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mark a big step towards expanding the U.S. booster campaign, which started last month with extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The CDC will conduct an expert panel later this week before finalizing official recommendations for who should get boosters and when.
These moves would expand the number of Americans eligible for boosters by tens of millions and formally allow mixing and matching of shots, making it easier to get another dose, especially for those who had a side effect from one brand but still want the protection the vaccine offers.
The FDA authorized a third Moderna shot for seniors and others at high risk of COVID-19 because of their health problems, jobs, or living conditions six months after the last shot. Moderna’s booster will be half the dose that’s used for the first two shots, based on data showing that was plenty to rev up immunity again.
For Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine, the FDA says all U.S. recipients should get a second dose at least two months after their initial vaccination.