The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA also said anyone eligible for a booster can receive a different brand for the extra dose, such as getting the Moderna shot initially but receiving the booster of J&J.
Before an individual is eligible to receive a booster shot, there are different time periods they must administer to.
To receive the Johnson & Johnson booster, 2 months must have elapsed since the last vaccine shot. There were no age guidelines.
To receive the Moderna booster, the FDA recommends 6 months since the last vaccine shot. It is also only recommended for individuals 65 and older, or for those ages 18-64 with a high risk of severe COVID-19 or with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19.
Moderna’s booster will also be half the dose that’s used for the first two shots, based on company data showing that was plenty to boost immunity again.
The Pfizer booster has already been approved. It has the same time and age restrictions as the Moderna booster.
The FDA has also found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has shown a lower level of effectiveness than both the two-shot vaccines.
“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “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, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death.