FDA advisers endorse Johnson & Johnson booster shot
After hours of discussion on Friday, the panel of independent vaccine experts forwarded on its recommendation that adults receive a second dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. While the panel endorsed Pfizer and Moderna boosters only for senior citizens and at-risk adults, they said any adult at least 18 years old who received the one-dose J&J shot should get another. The advisers worried that the 15 million people who have received the J&J vaccine so far are less protected from coronavirus.
What happens next? The panel’s unanimous vote is nonbinding but is likely to influence the FDA’s next moves. In the coming weeks, the FDA will discuss Moderna’s and J&J’s boosters before forwarding its decision to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panel did not approve a specific timeline because J&J submitted a sliding schedule for its boosters. Data indicated a second dose might be effective as early as two months after the first shot but might work even better several months later. The company developed the vaccine using cell lines derived from the tissue of aborted babies.
Dig deeper: Read John Dawson’s report in Beginnings about early concerns the J&J vaccine caused blood clots.
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