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COVID-19: FDA Panel Endorses Moderna, Janssen Boosters

The Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) unanimously voted to endorse booster shots of the Moderna and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.

The VRBPAC on Oct. 14 endorsed a booster dose of the Moderna vaccine at least six months after finishing the initial two-dose vaccine series for:

  • people ages 65 and older;
  • people ages 18 to 64 at risk of developing severe COVID-19; and
  • people whose jobs put them at high risk for serious complications of COVID-19, such as health care workers.

These are the same groups of people authorized in September to receive a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna booster is half the normal dose of the shot.

In contrast, the VRBPAC on Oct. 15 endorsed a booster dose of the Janssen vaccine for adults ages 18 and older who previously received the vaccine, to be administered at least two months after the initial vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Oct. 20 and 21 to discuss booster shots. A final decision from FDA is expected in the coming days.

FDA Delays Authorizing Moderna Vaccine for Adolescents

Media reports show FDA has delayed its decision to authorize the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adolescents ages 12 to 17. Norway, Finland, and Sweden have suspended use of the Moderna vaccine in young people after increased reports of cardiac side effects, including inflammation of the heart muscle and the outer lining of the heart.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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