FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson COVID booster: What to know

J&J booster shots: Who needs one, when to get it and more

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For probably the most up-to-date information and details about the coronavirus pandemic, go to the WHO and CDC web sites.

The US Meals and Drug Administration licensed booster photographs Wednesday for everybody who obtained Johnson & Johnson, the one one-dose coronavirus vaccine, a minimum of two months after their shot. And the company did not simply authorize a second dose of Johnson & Johnson, additionally they gave all eligible booster individuals the power to “combine and match” COVID-19 vaccines for a booster, which means those that acquired J&J might get a dose of Pfizer or Moderna as an alternative. 

The truth that all Johnson & Johnson recipients are eligible for a booster shot is a testomony to the opinion of many well being officers who say Johnson & Johnson in all probability ought to’ve been a two-dose vaccine from the beginning. The FDA additionally licensed booster photographs for some Moderna recipients Wednesday, together with folks age 65 and older, adults prone to extreme COVID-19 and adults whose jobs put them prone to COVID-19 transmission. The people who find themselves eligible for Moderna’s booster are the identical people who find themselves eligible for Pfizer’s booster. 

Learn extra: FDA formally authorizes mixing COVID boosters: What to know

Fewer folks have gotten Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine than Pfizer or Moderna. About 15 million folks have been vaccinated with J&J, in accordance with the CDC, a small quantity in contrast with these vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna. That is partly as a result of it was out there within the US later than each mRNA vaccines, manufacturing points resulted in thousands and thousands of wasted doses and use was paused briefly in April after issues over a hyperlink to a uncommon however critical blood clotting dysfunction (principally in girls below age 50) that is not seen with the mRNA vaccines. 

Those that acquired the one-dose J&J vaccine, together with immunocompromised folks, have been initially left in another country’s booster shot plans due to an absence of knowledge on the one-dose vaccine. (The booster rollout usually is a controversial one — members of the World Well being Group have referred to as on nations such because the US to sluggish the method of giving booster doses to people who find themselves already vaccinated as a result of a lot of the world stays unvaccinated in opposition to COVID-19. As few as 2.7% of individuals in low-income nations have had a coronavirus vaccine, in accordance with Our World in Information.) 

Whereas well being companies proceed to iron out booster suggestions, this is what we all know now about second photographs of Johnson & Johnson. 

J&J booster: A very long time coming

There have been many consultants who disagree with the CDC and FDA’s stance on ready for extra knowledge with regards to those that are extra weak to extreme COVID-19 and who obtained J&J. Analysis reveals that viral vector vaccines like J&J and AstraZeneca are doubtless much less efficient than mRNA vaccines. This was confirmed on the latest FDA committee assembly, the place members voted to advocate boosters of Johnson & Johnson based mostly on less-than-perfect knowledge offered to and reviewed by the FDA.

In an editorial for the Washington Put up on why public well being companies ought to enable J&J recipients to obtain a dose of mRNA vaccine, CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen wrote: “This is not a one-size-fits-all advice, however moderately an individualized determination based mostly on folks’s medical circumstances and exposures.”

Whereas a wholesome youthful particular person might be adequately protected with Johnson & Johnson, somebody who’s severely immunocompromised is “doubtless not optimally protected by the J&J,” Wen stated, and the unknown dangers of blending vaccine sorts are “virtually actually” outweighed by the dangers of extreme COVID-19. 

There could also be some native exceptions: For instance, when you reside in San Francisco and obtained J&J, you may get a dose of Pfizer or Moderna. Nonetheless, the town’s well being division stresses that this isn’t a advice or change in coverage, however an “lodging” for Johnson & Johnson recipients who’ve requested their physicians about receiving a dose of mRNA vaccine. 


If or when boosters grow to be a actuality within the US, it is unclear how that can change the CDC’s definition of “absolutely vaccinated,” or how that can differ based mostly on the kind of vaccine you obtained. 

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When will I get a J&J booster?

Now that it is licensed, will probably be as much as the CDC to advocate how folks search out booster photographs in the event that they obtained Johnson & Johnson, or if the company will concern a robust advice for some J&J recipients whereas merely saying different individuals who acquired J&J “might” get a booster. For instance, the CDC says now that Pfizer recipients age 65 and older and other people with sure well being situations “ought to” get a 3rd shot, whereas different Pfizer recipients who’re in danger due to their job or are youthful adults with well being situations “might” get a booster in the event that they select.

Does it matter what vaccine I get as a booster?

We’ll know extra after the CDC points steerage on the Johnson & Johnson booster. The CDC might advocate that it is best for folks to obtain the identical vaccine as a booster, or it could advocate that sure teams search out a distinct COVID-19 vaccine as an additional shot.

Nonetheless, some consultants consider that J&J recipients might profit from receiving a distinct vaccine, as seen in preliminary knowledge on mixing COVID-19 vaccines that was mentioned on the FDA committee assembly final week. The info confirmed that antibody ranges (although removed from the complete measure of immunity) rose 76-fold in J&J recipients who obtained Moderna as a booster, 35-fold with a Pfizer booster and solely four-fold with a Johnson & Johnson shot.

The knowledge contained on this article is for instructional and informational functions solely and isn’t meant as well being or medical recommendation. At all times seek the advice of a doctor or different certified well being supplier concerning any questions you will have a few medical situation or well being targets.

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