MPA | Pharmacy News

An FDA advisory panel on Oct. 15 reached a consensus on COVID-19 boosters for the 15 million Americans who initially received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The recommendation covers recipients 18 years or older who were immunized at least two months earlier. Committee members appeared at least partially motivated by the fact the J&J product is the least durable of the three coronavirus vaccines authorized in the United States.

"There is a public health imperative here, because what we're seeing is that this is a group with overall lower efficacy than we have seen with the mRNA vaccines," explained Arnold Monto, MD, acting committee chair. "So there is some urgency there to do something."

Many of the panel participants also backed the idea of J&J vaccine recipients getting their booster from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, in light of the lower efficacy and lesser availability of the J&J version. If FDA and CDC take the committee's latest recommendations for booster doses for all three COVID-19 vaccines used in the United States, 100 million-plus fully vaccinated people will be eligible for an additional dose of vaccine, despite calls from some corners to focus on the global population of people who have yet to receive a first dose.

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