FDA to Consider Moderna and J&J Boosters Thursday and Friday

FDA to Consider Moderna and J&J Boosters Thursday and Friday

     Americans who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines will find out in days whether booster shots will soon be available, when an advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meets to debate the safety and efficacy of the extra vaccine doses for adults.

     The FDA advisory panel, called the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, will meet on Thursday to discuss the safety and efficacy of the Moderna booster and on Friday to consider the J & J booster.

     The FDA meetings come less than a month after U.S. regulators authorized booster shots of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine to the elderly, adults with underlying medical conditions and those who work or live in high-risk settings, such as healthcare and grocery workers.

     The FDA, which could make a decision about the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots by early next week, will then hand off the final decision to the vaccine advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is scheduled to discuss the Moderna booster on Oct. 20 and the J & J booster on Oct. 21.

     Since Sept. 22, more than 7 million Americans have received third doses, according to the latest data available from the CDC.

     With more than 56% of Americans fully vaccinated, last week, the average daily COVID cases in the US have fallen below 100,000.

     Getting vaccinated, receiving booster shots, and avoiding large gatherings are crucial ways to lessen possible future COVID surges, health experts say.

     When the fast-moving delta variant started to spread, the US saw a surge in hospitalizations: mainly among the unvaccinated.

     Although a handful of vaccinated Americans have suffered breakthrough COVID infections, less than 1% of those vaccinated Americans were hospitalized or died, as of Sept. 20, according to CDC data.

     “Even with delta, the current vaccines are holding up quite well as far as hospitalization and severe disease,” said Norman Baylor, the former director of the FDA’s vaccines office. 

     After conducting a three-phase clinical trial last month, Moderna said a third shot: at half the dosage used for the first two jabs, was not only safe, but that it produced stronger immune responses than those that resulted from only two vaccine doses.

     J&J also said last month that a second dose of its one-shot vaccine, administered two months after its first dose, is safe and that it increased protection from 70 up to 9

(Photo Don Pollard// Office of Formor Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

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