BREAKING NEWS: FDA will allow fully vaccinated Americans to get COVID-19 booster shots that are different than the vaccine they initially received
- The FDA will allow Americans to receive a COVID-19 booster shot that is different than the vaccine they received
- Officials are expected to approve extra doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shot this week
- It comes after the NIH presented data last week showing that J&J recipients had higher antibody levels after a Pfizer or Moderna booster
- The J&J booster raised antibody levels four-fold over two weeks while Pfizer’s booster raise levels 45-fold and theModerna booster spiked levels 76-fold
- Moderna’s booster was also found to raise antibody levels higher among Pfizer recipients than Pfizer’s third dose
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow fully vaccinated Americans to ‘mix and match’ COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots.
The federal health agency is expected to approved extra doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson immunizations this week.
But officials will also authorize people to receive a booster made by a company that is different than the one that made the vaccine they initially received, according to The New York Times.
It comes after researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) presented data at an FDA advisory committee meeting on Friday showing people who got Johnson & Johnson’s Covid vaccine had higher antibody levels if they get a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shot.
The FDA will allow Americans to receive a COVID-19 booster shot that is different than the vaccine they received. Pictured: Dr Richard Schwartz receives a Pfizer Covid vaccine booster at Teaching Center LIJ Medical Center in New York, October 6
Officials are expected to approve extra doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shot this week. Pictured: The J&J, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccination vials, July 2021
Previously, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had warned Americans not to mix and match shots from any of the three vaccine manufacturers.
But it seems attitudes have changed after a new NIH report found that people who got J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine had higher antibody levels if their booster shot was from Pfizer or Moderna.
The report found that when recipients of the one-shot J&J vaccine received a second dose, their antibody levels increased four-fold over two weeks.
Comparatively, when they received a Moderna booster, their antibody levels spiked 76-fold over the same time period.
A booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine also raised antibody levels 45-fold over the course of two weeks – higher than the J&J shot, but not as high as the Moderna shot.
What’s more, the Moderna booster was also found to raise antibody levels higher in Pfizer recipients.
Americans who received two doses of the Pfizer saw their antibody levels increase 21-fold after a third Pfizer shot.
But those given the Moderna booster had antibody levels raised 32-fold over the span of 14 days.
NIH researchers warned that the study was based on a small group of about 450 original- much smaller than the original COVID19 trials that saw 30,000 people enrolled.
What’s more, only antibody levels were measured, which are only part of the immune response, and the trial wasn’t meant to compare groups.
‘The neutralizing antibodies did increase in response to any boost, irregardless of the primary vaccination series,’ said Dr Kirsten Lyke, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who presented the data the Friday meeting.
The White House announced plans in late August to roll out booster shots for all Americans starting September 20, citing waning vaccine efficacy.
However CDC and FDA officials pushed back against this, stating there was little evidence that healthy adults needed an extra Covid vaccine dose.
At first, only booster shots for immunocompromised Americans were approved before a third dose of Pfizer was approved – but only for adults aged 65 and older and those aged 18 to 64 at high risk due to underlying conditions or their jobs.
Modena received recommended approval for the same groups last week but has yet to be authorized by the FDA or recommended by the CDC’s advisory committee, two key steps before it can be rolled out.
However, the advisory committee approved J&J booster shots for all recipients regardless of age, comorbidities or other risk factors – but the FDA and CDC advisory committee still need to sign off.