FDA Authorizes Moderna And Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Booster Shots

By Bill Galluccio

October 20, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized booster shots of COVID vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The agency also authorized mixing and matching the booster doses, allowing people to get a different booster shot than the vaccine they initially received.

The emergency use authorization for Moderna's booster shot applies to people over the age of 65, those who have a high risk of severe complications from COVID-19, and those who work in jobs where they are likely to be exposed to the coronavirus. The booster shot can be given six months after receiving the second dose.

The agency authorized the Johnson & Johnson booster for anybody 18 and older and said people can receive the booster shot two months after the initial injection.

Before the booster shots can be distributed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must sign off on the authorization. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet on Thursday (October 21) to discuss the booster shots. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky is expected to greenlight the boosters shortly after the meeting concludes.

A booster shot for Pfizer's vaccine was authorized in September. Since then, more than 11.2 million people have received a booster shot, according to data from the CDC.

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