Over the next two days, a key independent Food and Drug Administration panel could take steps toward approving booster shots for both Moderna’s and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines.
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is meeting on Thursday to discuss the benefits and risks of recommending booster shots for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. That meeting is expected to end in an initial, non-binding vote on issuing a formal recommendation for the shots.
On Friday, the committee will meet again for a similar discussion about Johnson & Johnson booster shots.
According to ABC News, if the panel votes to recommend booster shots for either vaccine type, the matter will then head to the FDA as a whole.
If the FDA then issues a formal recommendation, the question will be posed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which already has meetings scheduled to discuss Moderna boosters on Oct. 20 and Johnson & Johnson boosters on Oct. 21. Finally, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky will need to issue a final recommendation for full approval.
ABC News estimates the earliest the booster shots could be approved for emergency use would be Oct. 22.
The New York Times reports that the VRBPAC is more likely to recommend Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters, as it has a slightly lower efficacy rate. Data has also shown that those who received the Moderna vaccine have been less susceptible to severe cases of COVID-19 several months after a final dose compared to other vaccines.
The VRBPAC on Friday will also weigh a new report from the National Institutes for Health, which indicates that mixing and matching different types of vaccines and booster doses still provided a strong antibody response.
“These data suggest that if a vaccine is approved or authorized as a booster, an immune response will be generated regardless of the primary COVID-19 vaccination regimen,” wrote the researchers.
That study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
The FDA and CDC have already approved booster shots for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and older, for people with underlying medical conditions and for people who work essential jobs. The FDA says those Americans should seek out a Pfizer booster six months after their second dose.
(this story/news/article has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed)