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FDA panel recommends second Johnston & Johnson COVID shot for adults : NPR

An FDA advisory committee recommends individuals who obtained the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine be given a booster shot.


Extra pictures for extra arms – the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee says the company ought to authorize booster pictures for individuals who bought the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine. If the FDA agrees with this advice, and that appears seemingly, hundreds of thousands of Individuals might quickly roll up their sleeves for one more dose. NPR well being reporter Pien Huang joins us. Pien, thanks a lot for being with us.

PIEN HUANG, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

SIMON: What is that this panel? What does their choice imply?

HUANG: So the booster advice got here from the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee. It is a group with 19 voting members. They’re docs, immunologists, infectious illness consultants. And their job is to assist decide whether or not vaccines and coverings are secure and efficient. FDA official Peter Marks reminded the panel that the purpose for COVID vaccines is to avoid wasting lives.


PETER MARKS: Vaccination is most essential for stopping extreme outcomes from SARS-CoV-2 infections, reminiscent of hospitalization and demise.

HUANG: Within the U.S., the panel heard that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be simply 68% efficient at retaining individuals from getting hospitalized with COVID. And that is inferior to the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. However the information they reviewed exhibits that giving a further J&J shot might actually enhance safety.

Now, there was some dialogue of giving a Pfizer or Moderna booster to individuals who bought J&J, however the information was preliminary, and no motion was taken on that. As an alternative, the panel supported FDA authorization for a second J&J shot at the least two months after the primary shot. And that is for anybody who’s already obtained it and would apply to round 15 million individuals within the U.S.

SIMON: Second Johnson & Johnson shot for individuals who bought that vaccine. What about those that bought the two-dose Moderna vaccine?

HUANG: Properly, the Moderna booster advice, which the panel thought-about on Thursday, was a bit extra nuanced. So right here the panel voted that solely particular teams of individuals – these 65 and up or individuals at excessive threat of getting COVID – ought to get a 3rd shot. This is identical advice they made for the Pfizer booster, which the FDA approved in September for these identical teams. And the rationale for the distinction is that the Moderna vaccine is holding up nicely. It is nonetheless greater than 90% efficient at retaining individuals from touchdown within the hospital with COVID. However persons are nonetheless getting breakthrough infections.

This is Peter Marks once more.


MARKS: Nevertheless, in contemplating the worth of vaccination, one may additionally want to think about the potential for morbidity from gentle to average an infection, reminiscent of blood clots and lengthy COVID-19.

HUANG: Marks additionally stated information from Israel made him frightened that the vaccine’s safety might slide to harmful lows over time, so he desires to present out boosters earlier than that occurs.

SIMON: Pien, when will we count on this advice to turn into greater than only a advice?

HUANG: Properly, the FDA will seemingly settle for the panel’s recommendation and authorize Moderna and J&J boosters subsequent week, after which the dialogue strikes to the CDC. Their advisory committee meets on Thursday to overview the booster information and to make additional suggestions on how these pictures must be used.

And Ofer Levy, an FDA panelist who’s additionally a Harvard Medical College professor, says the committee may additionally contemplate increasing booster entry for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. It is at the moment out there for these 65 and older, however he thinks that might change.


OFER LEVY: It is a dynamic pandemic. We do not know what the winter will convey, what the dynamic of unfold shall be, what variants could emerge and in addition what new analysis will come ahead when it comes to the influence of the pandemic on these youthful age teams.

HUANG: However it’s essential to notice this week that the World Well being Group pleaded with international locations to not give boosters as a result of the worldwide provide of vaccines is so restricted and there are some locations that also haven’t had entry to any vaccines.

SIMON: NPR well being reporter Pien Huang, thanks a lot for being with us.

HUANG: Thanks for having me.

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