FAMILY HEALTHCAST — Are you anxious to get a coronavirus booster shot? By the end of the week, tens of millions more Americans could be eligible and here’s the big news: the extra dose could be different from the brand they got initially.
The New York Times Is reporting that FDA is expected to announce Wednesday that it’s ok to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot from one of the other vaccine makers. The news will come as the agency authorizes boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The FDA may also say that people should generally stick to the same vaccine if possible.
However, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been shown to be less effective than the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, so there is intense focus on how to boost protection for the 15 million people who got the J&J shot.
The FDA is reviewing a new study showing a second shot using the Moderna vaccine triggered the biggest boost of virus-neutralizing antibodies in Johnson & Johnson recipients, resulting in a 76-fold increase in antibody levels. A Pfizer booster increased antibody levels by as much as thirty-five fold. A matching Johnson & Johnson booster triggered only a four-times as much increase.
The F.D.A. is expected to authorize boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by Wednesday evening, and it could allow the mix-and-match approach by then. It goes to the CDC on Thursday.