This past Wednesday, The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) officially approved the use of booster shots of both the Johnson & Johnson and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines along with the ability to “mix and match” with the booster shots.
“The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease,” stated Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA Commissioner, in a release.
Sitting at only 50 micrograms, the Moderna booster shot is only half the size of the original two 100-microgram doses that people are given upon their first vaccination.
As stated in a release, the FDA has also given its endorsement for the mixing of different COVID vaccines when it comes time to consider the use of the booster shots.
This new “mix and match” policy from the FDA means that someone can get a booster shot of a different COVID vaccine than the one they took at the time of their initial vaccination.
“A single booster dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines may be administered as a heterologous booster dose following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine,” stated the FDA in a news release.
As an example, any adults who are 18 and older who took the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be able to get a booster dose of either the Pfizer, the Moderna, or the Johnson & Johnson as long as it has been at least two months since their initial time of vaccination.
As discovered in recent studies, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
In a similar vein, anyone in high-risk groups who were administered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines can get a booster shot of any of the three currently FDA-approved vaccines as long as it has been at least six months total since their initial vaccination. People that are considered in this high-risk group include anyone over the age of 65, people that are living in long-term care facilities, and anyone between the ages of 18-64 who are immunocompromised enough to leave them at high risk for severe illness from COVID or who are in a position with their jobs that would lead to a high risk of being exposed to the virus.
Back in September, the Pfizer vaccine booster managed to get itself approved by the FDA for use on those specified high-risk groups, but as of this past Wednesday, the FDA released a statement that expanded the use of this Pfizer booster shot to any and all adults who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.