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NEWS & ANALYSIS

FDA Authorizes Moderna, J&J Booster Vaccines


The FDA approved on Wednesday booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, adding that people may also mix and match the two.

The move will make boosters available to a majority of adults who have been fully vaccinated and have surpassed the recommended waiting time, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Now, every authorized vaccine has a booster.

“Vaccines are one of our greatest tools in the fight against the pandemic, and ensuring the availability of boosters for those who need them is one of our highest priorities,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said.

Who is eligible for a booster and when depends on the original vaccine the person took – if you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you may get a booster from Pfizer, Moderna or J&J at least two months after the single dose. People who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine can get any booster at least six months after their second dose if they are seniors or otherwise at high risk.

Some research shows that people who mix and match vaccine brands, especially if they first received J&J, might get more protection. It also may ease worries about developing side effects from a third dose of the same shot.

“There are people who do not want to get the same vaccine they got before because they had some sort of reaction,” Dr. Woodcock said.

The shots could become available within the coming days once the CDC offers guidance to pharmacies, vaccination sites and doctors.