Boosters for Moderna and J.&J Buyers Not Ready to Discuss at CDC


A committee of scientific advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted on Thursday. Recommend booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to many Americans who are fully vaccinated with the same vaccine. The panel recommended that these booster vaccines go to older Americans and people with certain medical conditions, but excluded those at risk because of their jobs.

However, the panel was not asked to decide whether people who received the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines should receive Pfizer boosters. The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing data for the Moderna booster, but has not received an application for the vaccine booster from Johnson & Johnson.

Still, a few experts supported a mix-and-match strategy and signaled that they would revisit the issue as new data became available.

Consultants grappled with the practicality of approving a booster shot of Pfizer’s vaccine, but not for the other two. Recipients of these vaccines may feel justifiably resentful about being asked to wait if evidence shows they need boosters.

“I don’t see how we could say to people aged 65 and over this afternoon, ‘You are at risk of serious illness and death, but right now only half of you can protect yourself,'” he said. Sarah Long, MD, a pediatrician and infectious diseases specialist at Drexel University School of Medicine in Pennsylvania.

“This may be the right thing to do,” he said. “That doesn’t sound like good public health policy.”

Some experts seemed to suggest Wednesday that it might be better to stop offering any booster vaccines until recipients of all three vaccines qualify for them.

Moderna’s authorization may arrive in a few days or weeks. The company has applied for authorization for a booster that carries half the dose delivered in the first two shots, delaying the FDA’s deliberations.

Federal regulators have stated that there is insufficient evidence to confuse the first shots of the Moderna vaccine with a Pfizer booster.


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