On Tuesday, pharma giant Johnson & Johnson filed a request with the FDA to authorize boosters for people 18 and older who previously received the company’s one-shot vaccine.
As it stands, the FDA has received authorization requests from J&J as well as Moderna in an attempt to expand the use of booster shots across the country. The FDA will therefore review booster data from both J&J and Moderna next week.
This first step also involves sign-off from the leadership of both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If both agencies give the go-ahead, Americans could begin getting J&J and Moderna boosters later this month.
J&J previously released data suggesting its vaccine remains highly effective against COVID-19 at least five months after vaccination, demonstrating 81% effectiveness against hospitalizations in the U.S. But company research shows a booster dose at either two or six months revved up immunity even further. Data released last month showed giving a booster at two months provided 94% protection against moderate-to-severe COVID-19 infection.
Last month, the FDA authorized booster shots of Pfizer’s vaccine for older Americans and other groups with more vulnerability to COVID-19. Fuelled by the concerns of the Delta variant the Biden administration is looking to thoroughly expand the booster shot program in order to further protect citizens against the virus.
Since U.S. officials don’t recommend mixing and matching different vaccine brands, it is all the more likely that J&J and Moderna will gain approval from the agencies.