The FDA has cleared the way for many Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine recipients to get booster shots, with those who got the J&J jab able to opt for an mRNA vaccine as their second dose. The additional doses, should they receive an expected final recommendation from the CDC later this week, will be available to those who are over age 65 and those who are either at high risk or face exposure from their job. The decision comes after weeks of debate by top regulatory agencies over who should be eligible for the doses, and it comes about a month after the FDA authorized Pfizer to provide booster doses for those who meet the same criteria. It also follows weeks of debate over whether people should supplant the one-dose J&J vaccine, which has shown to be less effective than the other approved doses, with another shot for a “mix-and-match” approach.
“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19.”