booster shots

October 21, 2021

The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting FDA Commissioner, on recommending COVID-19 vaccine “boosters” for more people.
  • The FDA has expanded emergency use authorization of the available COVID-19 vaccines.
  • The EUA (emergency use authorization) guidance varies slightly depending on age and type of vaccine.
  • Here are some of the highlights:

    An additional dose for anyone over 18 who has received the J&J vaccine after two months.

    An additional (third) Moderna dose for those over 65, or at higher risk (either because of preexisting conditions or work exposure) 6+ months after their initial series.

    Clarification that an additional (third) Pfizer dose can be given 6+ months after their initial series to those over 18 with higher exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • The FDA also gave authorization for “mix and match” boosters – you can get a different booster than your original shot series (for example, a Pfizer booster after your J&J dose).

    Why It Matters: This is recognition of the need for a stronger booster campaign and waning immunity for vaccine recipients; the “mix and match” EUA will allow for quicker vaccinations, especially as new vaccines become available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Additional Actions on the Use of a Booster Dose for COVID-19 Vaccines

by Jenna Lee,