Moderna and J&J Booster Shots Finally Approved by FDA
Booster shots of Moderna (MRNA.O) and Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines are finally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The agency also said that Americans can choose a different shot from their original vaccine as a booster. Many countries including the UK have backed mix-and-match strategies for the widely used AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) vaccine, which is not authorized in the United States yet but is based on a viral vector technology similar to J&J’s vaccine.
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This decision paves the way for millions in the United States to get the additional protection as the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus causes breakthrough infections among some who are fully vaccinated.
Previously, the FDA already approved boosters from Pfizer Inc., developed with German partner BioNTech. Now, all three vaccines authorized in the United States can also be given as boosters to some groups.
The FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were reportedly under pressure to authorize the additional shots after the White House announced plans in August for a widespread booster campaign.
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The FDA authorized a third Moderna shot for seniors and others at high risk from Covid-19 because of their health problems, jobs or living conditions — six months after their last shot. Moderna’s booster will be half the dose that’s used for the first two shots, while the second dose of J&J’s single-shot vaccine, could be taken at least two months following their initial vaccination.
Moderna’s stocks reportedly grew after the approval announcement, with stocks rising up to 1.3% in US premarket trading.
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Data from the CDC say that about 11.2 million people have received a booster dose so far.
As of now, over 170 million have become vaccinated against COVID-19: more than 100 million people have received Pfizer’s vaccine, around 70 million for Moderna, and just 15 million for Johnson & Johnson.
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