Moderna booster will get FDA authorization: What to know

Moderna's COVID-19 booster vaccine: Approval status, who would be eligible and more

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For essentially 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 a booster of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday for everybody age 65 and older, adults who’re prone to extreme COVID-19 illness and adults with “frequent institutional or occupational publicity.” 

What’s extra, individuals who initially acquired Moderna’s vaccine and are eligible for a booster might also get a shot of Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, as a result of the FDA additionally licensed a “combine and match” method Wednesday to boosting in eligible adults. 

An impartial advisory committee to the US Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention is assembly Thursday to focus on Moderna’s booster and the way it needs to be rolled out to the general public, together with Johnson & Johnson’s booster. As soon as the CDC has accepted its committee’s steering, the Moderna booster will begin going out to thousands and thousands of People.

The delta variant surged within the US over the summer time, inflicting an increase in case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. The vaccines which might be accepted by the FDA have confirmed to be extremely efficient in stopping hospitalization, and those that are unvaccinated are 10 occasions extra prone to be hospitalized. With the brand new federal vaccine mandates, the Biden administration goals to counter the surge and put strain on anybody who hasn’t been vaccinated. 

This is what we all know proper now about when you would get a Moderna booster shot, who could be eligible and the place to get it. For extra on COVID-19, here is the most recent on COVID-19 vaccines for youths, what to do if you happen to misplaced your vaccination card, the distinction between a booster and a 3rd dose, and breakthrough infections. And here is what it’s best to know concerning the new federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

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Who can get a Moderna COVID-19 booster shot?

The FDA authorized a Moderna vaccine booster for Moderna recipients age 65 years of age and older and adults who are at high risk because of severe illness or exposure in their work setting. Additionally, all Johnson & Johnson recipients age 18 and older will also be able to get a Moderna booster, as will eligible adults for Pfizer’s booster

What would a Moderna booster shot do?

A COVID-19 booster shot — whether from Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson — would top off your immune response and guard against a breakthrough COVID infection as the vaccine’s effectiveness decreases.

Recent studies of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines show that their effectiveness can begin to wane after six months. Moderna said early data suggests that those who received the Moderna vaccine in 2020 are showing a higher rate of breakthrough COVID infections than those vaccinated this year, suggesting the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection.

The decision whether to authorize a booster is up to the FDA, and the federal agency said this week that overall, authorized COVID-19 vaccines “still afford protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death in the United States.”


President Biden is pushing for vaccine booster shots.

Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

Who would be eligible for Moderna’s COVID-19 booster shot?

Government scientists and health care officials propose that everyone in the US who is already fully vaccinated should be eligible for a booster shot. Right now, it’s certain people who’ve received Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine, as well as all Johnson & Johnson recipients (who may also opt for a second jab of J&J, or Pfizer). 

Not everyone agrees, however, that we need boosters now. A group of scientists expressed concern about the administration’s booster plan, arguing that “available evidence does not show the need for widespread use of booster vaccination” in the medical journal The Lancet

“Boosting might ultimately be needed in the general population because of waning immunity” but the vaccines continue to be effective against COVID-19 and the delta variant, the scientists wrote. “Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population.” Instead, the scientists recommend using the current supply of vaccines for those with a risk of serious disease and for those who have not yet received any vaccine.

When will the Moderna booster shot be available?

It’s now authorized by the FDA, meaning doctors and health care providers have been given the go-ahead to start administering them to patients. However, an advisory committee to the CDC is meeting Thursday to discuss recommendations not only for Moderna’s booster, but all three COVID-19 vaccines as boosters. After the CDC gives its official guidance, shots will start going in arms. 

Will the Moderna booster be the same as the two Moderna COVID-19 shots?

Yes, almost. As with Pfizer’s booster, the third Moderna shot will be the same vaccine as the first two doses, except it’ll be a half dose. To make your life simpler, Moderna is also working on a combination shot that includes this year’s flu vaccine and its COVID-19 booster vaccine.

Where can I get my Moderna booster shot?

According to the White House, boosters will be available at roughly 80,000 places across the country, including over 40,000 local pharmacies. Some 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within 5 miles of where they live. You can check to see which vaccines are available where, or call 1-800-232-0233 for vaccine information.

Do I have to pay for the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot?

No, the booster shot will be free regardless of immigration or health insurance status. 

For more on coronavirus treatments and vaccines, here’s what we know about monoclonal antibody treatments, the new federal vaccine mandates and why some people may not want the shot.

CNET’s Jessica Rendall contributed to this article. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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